Feb 26 (Reuters) - Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday posted an 18% rise in 2019 underlying earnings as a surge in iron ore prices last year countered a slight drop in shipments of the steel-making commodity.
The company said it is prepared for the short-term impact to supply chains from the coronavirus outbreak.
The world’s top iron ore producer’s underlying earnings for the full year ended Dec. 31 rose to $10.37 billion, from $8.81 billion a year earlier.
That was slightly below a consensus estimate of $10.40 billion by 17 analysts compiled by research firm Vuma Financial.
Rio Tinto declared a final dividend of $2.31 per share, higher than $1.8 per share in 2018.
Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan and Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila