Rio's production numbers speak volumes about Walsh's strategy

Sam Walsh's emphasis on strong volume growth and cost-cutting looks set to placate shareholders, and could keep Glencore's merger ambitions at bay.

Given that Rio Tinto’s strategy since commodity prices crashed is based on driving volumes to partly offset the pricing impacts, today’s strong production numbers provide some reassurance that the strategy remains on course.

Achieving that volume growth is particularly important if Rio is to deliver on Sam Walsh’s November promise to "materially increase cash returns to shareholders in a sustainable way" over the next five years.

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