Gina Rinehart pays herself a $587m dividend as Hancock doubles profit

Fresh from being crowned Australia’s richest person, the accounts of Gina Rinehart’s private company Hancock Prospecting, reveal the stratospheric rise in her fortunes last year as the family’s Roy Hill mine kicked into high gear.
Nanjing Night Net

The company doubled its net profit to more than $1.07 billion and unleashed a cash bonanza for its owners with a $767 million dividend.

The vast majority of this dividend, $587 million, will be paid to Rinehart who was listed by Forbes this week as Australia’s richest person, after a recovery in iron ore prices boosted her estimated fortune to $US16.6 billion ($21.5 billion).

Hope Margaret Hancock Trust, which is now controlled by Rinehart’s estranged daughter, Bianca Rinehart on behalf of her siblings, owns 24 per cent of Hancock Prospecting.

Ms Rinehart’s wealth increased by $US8.1 billion, according to the 2017 Forbes Australia Rich List, from $US8.5 billion in 2016.

Tax payers get their share of the bonanza as well, Hancock’s income tax bill of $683 million puts it in the top tier of corporate tax payers in Australia.

Iron ore is not the only contributor to Hancock’s earnings. Rinehart has established herself one of Australia’s biggest cattle barons with the purchase of the S Kidman station for $386 million and has consolidated its foot print with other cattle station acquisitions this year.

This includes the purchase last month of the 170,000 hectare Willeroo Station, which was previously owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

Rinehart is now preparing the way for her next major export business to China, live cattle.

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