Feb 27 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday posted a 2 percent rise in underlying earnings for calendar 2018, coming in well ahead of market estimates on robust commodity prices.
Underlying earnings for the 12 months ended Dec. 31 rose to $8.81 billion, from $8.63 billion a year earlier. The figure was significantly higher than a consensus estimate of $8.47 billion compiled by Vuma Financial.
Rio declared a final dividend of $1.80 per share and special dividend of $2.43 per share.
Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin