Swings and roundabouts in a Rio Tinto transition

Falling commodity prices were always going to spoil Sam Walsh's first report - and they sliced $US1.3 billion from the results - but the new chief has made progress on costs and capex reductions.

Sam Walsh’s first real results as chief executive of Rio Tinto was always going to be measured more by his ability to deliver cost reductions and reduce capital expenditures than by the absolute performance he announced. He’s made a very reasonable start.

Rio’s earnings were always going to be down, given what’s happened to commodity prices since the corresponding half of 2012, and they were.

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