Rio Tinto plunges to $3bn full-year loss

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh promised to cut costs and spend capital more carefully, as the miner slumped to a full-year loss of $3bn (£1.9bn).

Walsh, who was appointed chief executive as former boss Tom Albanese resigned on a $14.4bn write-down on failed acquisitions, said the company would have an "unrelenting focus" on pursuing value for shareholders.

Over the full year, Rio Tinto plunged to a loss of $2.99bn, a drop of 151 per cent from 2011’s profit of $5.83bn, reflecting the write downs on its Alcan aluminium takeover in 2007 and a coal acquisition in Mozambique.

Underlying earnings over the full year fell 40 per cent to $9.3bn, on the back of weaker commodity prices.

Despite the lower result, Rio Tinto pledged a 15 per cent rise in the dividend to $1.67 a share.