Feb. 14 - Rio Tinto has reported a $3bln loss - its first ever full-year loss. But its new chief is promising to cut costs and put the world's third biggest miner back on track. Sonia Legg reports.
A $3bln loss for Rio Tinto - it's the mining giant's first ever full year loss and it's prompted a major overhaul. New CEO Sam Walsh has vowed to slash costs, sell weak assets and spend capital more carefully. He was appointed last month after his predecessor was sacked for misjudging aluminium and coal acquisitions. A $14 billion writedown followed leaving the world's third biggest miner in the red. Rio's half year underlying profit was also down by almost a half - its worst since 2009. Sharp falls in commodity prices were largely to blame. Investors were generally upbeat about the results as the dividend was better than expected. But concerns remain about how the miner will meet its cost-cutting targets. Walsh wants to rip out $5 billion by the end of 2014 but Rio's been unable to shift its aluminium and diamond businesses. And it's not clear where growth outside its core iron ore mines will come from.