Rio Tinto Flashes Cash to Shareholders, Digs for Deals

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SYDNEY—Rio Tinto PLC said it was hunting for acquisitions including in new commodities such as lithium, as it handed more cash to shareholders through an increased buyback program and record annual dividend.

The remarks by Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques—while unveiling a 90% annual profit rise—show that resources companies are rethinking their strategies after years of focusing on cost cuts in the wake of a downturn in commodity prices that began around 2011.

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