Rio Tinto Posts First-Half Profit Tumbling

Rio Tinto Group , the world’s third- largest mining company, said first-half profit tumbled 65 percent after copper, iron ore and aluminum prices declined.

Net income fell to $2.5 billion from $6.95 billion a year earlier, London-based Rio said today in a statement. Underlying earnings that exclude some one-time items were $2.6 billion, missing the $2.73 billion median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Rio, which isn’t paying a dividend for the first half, said it may pay a final dividend for 2009 , Bloomberg reports.

Rio Tinto didn't pay a dividend, as it announced in June. It's still expecting to pay a full-year dividend that "will reflect the 2009 full-year results, progress on divestments and prevailing market conditions." , MarketWatch reports.

The Anglo-Australian mining giant also said it reduced its global headcount by about 16,000 roles in the first half, ahead of its target of 14,000. Rio Tinto's chairman Jan du Plessis said the company reducted its debt by $14.8 billion during the period and that the miner remains "cautious about the recent rally in [commodity] prices" but expects that "development in emerging markets will generate underlying strength in metals and minerals demand over the long term." , FOXBusiness reports.

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