As the majority of the Group's sales are transacted in US dollars it is the most reliable currency in which to measure the Group's financial performance and is its main reporting currency. The US dollar is therefore the natural currency for dividend determination. Dividends determined in US dollars are translated at exchange rates prevailing two days prior to announcement and are then declared payable in pounds sterling by Rio Tinto plc and in Australian dollars by Rio Tinto Limited.
UK shareholders of Rio Tinto Limited can elect to receive dividends in pounds sterling.
Australian and UK shareholders may elect to have cash dividends paid directly into any bank, building society or credit union account.
Dividends and taxation - Dividend imputation system
The basis of the Australian dividend imputation system is that when Australian resident shareholders receive dividends from Rio Tinto Limited, they may be entitled to a credit for the tax paid by the Company in respect of that income, depending on the tax status of the shareholder. The application of the system results in the tax paid by the Company being allocated to shareholders by way of imputation credits attaching to the dividends they receive. Such dividends are known are franked dividends. A dividend may be partly or fully franked. Any imputation credits attached to the dividend are shown in the Dividend Statement provided to shareholders.
Fully franked dividends
Since 1988, all dividends declared by Rio Tinto Limited have been fully franked. It is the Company's policy to pay fully franked dividends whenever possible.