Rio Tinto slashes dividend as profit plunges

STORY: Rio Tinto posted a 38% drop in annual profit Wednesday (February 22).

The miner - like its rivals - was hit by higher costs for labor and materials.

The Anglo-Australian firm reported underlying earnings of $13.3 billion for last year - just below analyst forecasts.

It was also far down from its record haul of $21.4 billion a year before.

Strict health crisis curbs by top steel producer China hurt the company.

They dragged down iron ore prices from the higher levels it previously saw.

But Rio Tinto said Chinese consumption showed signs of recovery.

That as the country comes out of health crisis lockdowns.

The world's top iron ore producer more than halved its dividend after the results.

It came in just below $5 per share, down from a record payout of $10.40 per share a year before.

Another mining giant reported weaker earnings this week.

On Tuesday (February 21), BHP Group declared a worse-than-expected 32% fall in first-half profit.

Like Rio Tinto, though, it also saw a brighter outlook in China.

Rio Tinto shares fell over 2.5% in early trade Wednesday after the results.