While profits improved during the first half, Glencore kept its dividend unchanged and used the extra money to pay down borrowings.
Net debt was US$13.9 billion by June, down more than 60% from mid-2014 when the company was digesting its merger with Xstrata Ltd.
South African Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Glasenberg said in a statement the company’s strong balance sheet provides “headroom for highly selective growth opportunities.”
“These results indicate the strong position Glencore has built in the recent past and we expect the momentum to continue,” added Heath Jansen, a mining analyst at Citigroup Inc.
The CEO said in February that the “time is right” to reward shareholders after difficult years in 2015 and 2016, when the company suspended dividends and sold shares to raise cash.
Glasenberg, now appears to be strengthening Glencore’s balance sheet first, a sign the company is looking at deals, rather than immediately returning more money to shareholders.