The Straits Times
Published on Feb 14, 2013

Rio Tinto posts unprecedented S$3.69b annual net loss


SYDNEY (AFP) - Anglo-Australian mining titan Rio Tinto on Thursday posted a US$2.99 billion (S$3.69 bn) annual net loss after US$14.4 billion in writedowns on its Mozambique coal assets and ailing aluminium businesses.

The impairments, announced last month, prompted the resignation of chief executive Tom Albanese and saw Rio slump into the red on underlying earnings of US$9.3 billion.

"Our business performed well in 2012, generating strong cash flows and underlying earnings of US$9.3 billion," said Rio chairman Jan du Plessis.

"However, we are deeply disappointed by the US$14.4 billion writedowns that we have taken in 2012, primarily in our aluminium and energy businesses, which led to the group recording a net loss of US$3.0 billion."