Article by John Stensholt courtesy of the Australian
Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has recorded one of the biggest profits by an Australian private company in recent history, the iron ore miner’s 2019 financial accounts reveal.
Hancock doubled its net profit to $2.6bn in the 2019 financial year, accounts lodged with the corporate regulator on Thursday evening show.
Mrs Rinehart’s business paid a huge $1.1bn in tax, up from $600m last year. Revenue, most of which is from iron ore sales, surged to $8.4bn from $5.8bn in 2018.
Mrs Rinehart is ranked second on The List — Australian’s Richest 250, published by The Australian, with estimated wealth of $13.12bn based on last year’s Hancock result.
Visy executive chairman Anthony Pratt narrowly beat Mrs Rinehart to top spot with an estimated wealth of $13.14bn.
Hancock paid $483m in dividends this year, down from $528m in 2018.
So good were its results this year that Hancock said it was paying down $US1bn debt in two chunks, one this month and the rest early next year.
Mrs Rinehart’s wealth is derived from a majority stake in the company, which has huge mining, agriculture and investment assets.
The jewel in the crown is the Roy Hill iron ore mine.
Last month, Mrs Rinehart added the Warrabah Station in the New England region of NSW to her already substantial holdings. A run of agricultural purchases by the mining magnate is broadening the scope of her empire and diversifying its earnings.
Hancock Prospecting is among the largest landholders in the country.