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Rio Tinto Energy reduces loss in H1 2014

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World Coal,

Despite a 9% drop in gross sales revenue, Rio Tinto’s energy group – which includes its coal and uranium business – reduced its underlying loss for the first half of this year to US$19 million, compared to US$52 million.

“A programme of aggressive cost and productivity improvements, which saw record half year thermal coal production, boosted earnings by US$ 91 million, while benefits associated with weaker local currencies added a further $130 million,” the company said in its earnings report.

This was offset by “significantly lower prices”, which reduced earnings by US$205 million.

Overall, underlying earnings rose to US$5.1 billion – a rise of 21% on the same period last year on the back of cuts to OPEX and CAPEX.

“We delivered what we said we would, exceeding our US$3 billion operating cash cost reduction target six months ahead of schedule, while producing record volumes and driving productivity improvements across all our businesses,” CEO Sam Walsh said in a press statement.

CAPEX was down to US$3.6 billion for the first six months of the year and is expected to total US$9 billion for the full year, US$2 billion below previous guidance, and US$8 billion each year from 2015

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