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Australia's Fortescue full-year profit surges

Xinhua, August 22, 2016 Adjust font size:

Australia's iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group profit for the 2016 financial year rose to 985 million U.S. dollars from 316 million U.S. dollars in the previous period.

The Perth-based company said the underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 27 percent year-on-year to 3.2 billion U.S. dollars while revenue declined 17 percent to 7.08 billion U.S dollars from 8.57 billion U.S. dollars recorded in the previous period.

Fortescue attributed the robust performance to a sustained focus on productivity and initiatives taken to reduce its overall operating costs.

"Successful cost improvement measures and lower capital expenditure have more than offset the impact of falling iron ore prices to generate strong free cash flow," Fortescue chief executive Nev Power said in a statement on Monday.

"We have repaid 2.9 billion U.S. dollars of debt in FY16, reducing net debt to 5.2 billion U.S. dollars and will continue to repay debt from operating cash flows," he said.

The world's fourth biggest iron ore exporter shipped 169.4 million tonnes of iron ore in the 12-month period, slightly higher than its guidance of 165 million tonnes.

"Our continued focus on safety, innovation, efficiency and productivity has ensured a solid foundation for achievement of FY17 goals and ongoing balance sheet strength," said Power.

The company said it had benefitted from the strong run in iron ore prices so far in 2016, which has also allowed it to scale back on its massive debt pile.

For the current financial period, the company said it is targeting shipments of between 165 to 170 million tonnes.

Fortescue chairman and major shareholder Andrew Forrest, who holds just over 1 billion shares in the miner according to Bloomberg, is expected to earn roughly 124.5 million Australian dollars (94.54 million U.S. dollars) from the final dividend payout of 12 U.S. cents a share, which is up two cents from a year ago. Enditem