Thursday, February 12, 2009

Got Goodwill? Part 14: Rio Tinto Impairs $8 Billion

Rio Tinto has reported an asset impairment charge of $8.4 billion, mostly attributed to a write-down of its aluminum business, which recorded a $7.9 billion write down.

The aluminum division reported earnings of $1.18 billion, reduced from $2.8 billion as a result of higher costs and adverse exchange rate movements.

Corporate earnings were a record of $10.3 billion, up 38 per cent from the 2007 at $7.4 billion.

The company is now focusing on paying down its $40 billion debt from its $42.5 billion takeover of Alcan in 2007. The company previously stated that the debt dragging on the company. "We are comfortable ... with our financial position, we are confident that our debt position is manageable," they previously stated. "We have $9 billion of debt which is due for repayment in October 2009, we don't see any need to issue equity to meet that. In fact, we currently have available unused credit facilities of almost $7 billion."

Today Rio announced that Chinalco will inject equity totaling $US19.5 billion.

Malcolm McKay

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