Sunday, February 28, 2021

‘Twiggy’ Forrest collects $1.6b as Fortescue’s profit surges

‘Twiggy’ Forrest collects $1.6b as Fortescue’s profit surges

Australian mining giant Fortescue will pay a record half-year dividend, sending $1.6 billion to its biggest shareholder Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, after booming iron ore prices sent profits soaring.

Boosted by strong Chinese demand and elevated prices for exports of the steel-making material, Fortescue’s profit increased by 66 per cent to $US4.08 billion ($5.2 billion) for the six months to December 31. The miner exceeded analysts’ forecasts by announcing a higher-than-expected full-year dividend of $1.47 a share.

Andrew Forrest is the founder, chairman and top shareholder of iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group.Credit:Trevor Collens

“Fortescue’s performance for the first half of the 2021 financial year has been outstanding,” chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said. “We are very proud of the whole team who have delivered our best half year operating and financial results since the company was established.”

The bumper profit, however, comes amid upheaval in the mining giant’s senior ranks, following the shock exit of three top executives including chief operating officer Greg Lilleyman. Fortescue told shareholders earlier this week the departures followed a review into its problem-plagued Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia.

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