The mining company saw advantageous benefits from a commodities price boom with a record $5.2 billion (£3.75 billion) full-year dividend payout to investors.
Rio Tinto also announced an additional $1 billion share buyback, making a total returns to shareholders in 2017 of $9.7 billion.
The company has made an incredible turnaround over the last few years where only two years ago it was forced to dump its dividend policy after a drop in metal prices. This led to huge cost-saving measures with increased productivity and reducing spend.
What came of this was Rio’s best pre-tax earnings rate for ten years at 38% ($18.6 billion). Its dividend increased by 71% to $2.90 per share.
A big part of the rise is the continued demand for iron ore among Chinese steelmakers.
The CEO of Rio Tinto, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, said that now the company has a sturdy balance sheet, it can “deal with any economic volatility”.