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Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group has recorded net profit after tax of $US2.1 billion for fiscal 2017

Fortescue more than doubles final dividend as full-year profit jumps to $2.1b

Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) has reported a surge ahead in its results, with its profit attributable to members rising 113 per cent to US$2.1 billion for the financial year ending 30 June 2017.

Shares in Fortescue jumped as much as 4.7 percent to A$5.76 after the result.

The iron ore giant saw its revenue increase by 19 per cent over the same period to US$8.4 billion, also reflected in higher iron ore prices.

As well as reducing net gearing by 21 per cent and improving costs by 17 per cents, its safety performance was also bolstered.

The company improved its fully franked final dividend to 25 cents a share, more than double last year's, and lifting its full-year payout beyond the target ratio of 30 to 40 per cent of net profit.

Fortescue declared a A$0.25 per share final dividend, more than doubling its final dividend of A$0.12 a year ago.

The miner is targeting further cost cuts but plans to keep its iron ore shipments steady at around 170 million tonnes in 2017/18 to avoid flooding the market.

"It is a remarkable story", he said.

"It's hard to see them going any lower", he said.

Fortescue has been driving down costs to help offset steeper price discounts for its ore because of a lower iron content.

"Their biggest challenge now is to earn more from the iron ore that they produce, which is not a high quality iron ore, so they have to get their costs down below their competitors because their product is not as high quality as BHP or Rio Tinto".

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