Mining giant Glencore reported bumper 2017 profits on Wednesday and announced a higher-than-expected dividend payout, as the Swiss-based company benefits from rebounding commodities prices.
Glencore said in a statement that its net profit last year hit $5.7 billion (4.6 billion euros), a four-fold increase compared to 2016.
"Our performance in 2017 was our strongest on record," said chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, a South African native.
The company also announced a dividend of $0.20 per share, a significant increase on the $0.07 it paid out for 2016.
The return to substantial dividends marks of clear sign of Glencore's stunning turnaround.
Faced with a collapse in the commodity markets and ballooning debt of almost $30 billion in 2015, Glencore launched a massive cost-cutting drive.
It scrapped dividends, closed operations and sold assets in an aggressive savings effort that stabilised the company's finances.
Glencore said Wednesday it had trimmed its debt to $10.6 billion, down from $15.5 billion in 2016.
"We look to the future with confidence", CEO Glasenberg said.
On the London Metal Exchange, which sets prices for the metals market, copper prices shot up 31 percent last year, while zinc swelled 30 percent and nickel rose 20 percent.
The price hikes helped revive Glencore's previously hard-hit marketing division, which is in charge of selling commodities on world markets, allowing it to increase operating profit by three percent to $3.0 billion last year.
"After an encouraging end to 2016, which saw commodities recover from cycle lows, positive momentum continued through 2017, resulting in prolonged outperformance of Glencore's key commodities versus the broader markets," Glasenberg said.
Looking forward, Glencore maintained its expectation that its marketing division in the long term would rake in an annual operating profit of between $2.2 and $3.2 billion, and said this year it expected to hit the top of that range.