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Feb. 18, 2014, 10:26 p.m. EST

Fortescue profit jumps on strong iron-ore sales

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By Rhiannon Hoyle

SYDNEY — Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. said profit more than tripled in its fiscal first half as iron-ore sales and prices strengthened, and the mining company started to make inroads reducing its massive debt pile.

The world’s No. 4 iron-ore producer Wednesday reported a net profit of 1.71 billion U.S. dollars for the six months through December, versus a $478 million profit in the same period a year earlier. A poll of five analysts’ forecasts had estimated a median first-half profit of $1.65 billion.

Perth-based Fortescue /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG -1.66%   /zigman2/quotes/204116626/delayed FSUMF +0.71%  declared an interim dividend of 10 Australian cents a share. Last year, it didn’t offer investors any mid-year payout.

Executives have been working hard to rebuild the company’s balance sheet, after Fortescue borrowed billions of dollars to fund an aggressive expansion and found itself forced into emergency talks with lenders when iron-ore prices briefly plunged to multiyear lows in 2012.

The company Wednesday said it had reduced net debt to $8.6 billion by Dec. 31, from $10.5 billion in the middle of last year. Cashflow, it said, jumped to $3.6 billion from just $500 million in the first half of the prior fiscal year.

An expanded version of this report appears at

AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 19.59
-0.33 -1.66%
Volume: 9.89M
May 27, 2022 4:10p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$61.30 billion
Rev. per Employee
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 14.24
+0.10 +0.71%
Volume: 501.00
May 27, 2022 10:40a
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$43.37 billion
Rev. per Employee

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