- Mining titan Rio Tinto booked a 20% drop in first-half profit amid disruptions from the Covid-19 crisis, though it lifted its interim dividend citing a strong balance sheet.

Net income for the six months through June fell to $3.32bn, down from $4.13bn on-year.

Sales revenue slumped 7% to $19.4bn, mainly due to lower prices and volumes for copper and lower aluminium prices.

Rio Tinto nevertheless bumped up its interim dividend by 3% to 155c per share.

The company kept its annual output guidance unchanged.

Capital expenditure was expected to be around $6bn in 2020 and around $7bn in both 2021 and 2022.

The three year cumulative spend of $20 billion was unchanged from original guidance issued in October 2019.

'We have been agile and adapted our way of working, to deliver another resilient performance while navigating the new and ongoing challenges of dealing with Covid-19,' chief executive J-S Jacques said.

'Our world-class portfolio of high-quality assets and our strong balance sheet consistently serve us well in all market conditions and particularly in turbulent times.'

'This, together with our disciplined capital allocation, underpins our ability to sustain production, increase our investment in the business, pay taxes and royalties to governments and continue delivering superior returns to shareholders.'

At 8:02am: [LON:RIO] Rio Tinto PLC share price was -7.25p at 4757.75p

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