World’s biggest miner BHP posts soaring second half profit

World’s biggest miner BHP posts soaring second half profit

SYDNEY – Agence France-Presse
World’s biggest miner BHP posts soaring second half profit


Mining giant BHP Billiton reported yesterday a dramatic rebound in half-yearly profits on the back of soaring iron ore prices and improved productivity.

The underlying profit of $3.2 billion and earnings before tax of $9.9 billion for the last six months of 2016 exceeded expectations.

“This is a strong result that follows several years of a considered and deliberate approach to improve productivity and redesign our portfolio and operating model,” chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said.

The Anglo-Australian mining giant announced a 40 cent interim dividend per share which eclipsed analyst projections of about 30 cents.

In January the company reported record Australian iron ore production in the last six months of 2016 after a 28 percent surge in the price of the commodity, compared to the corresponding period in 2015.

The latest results show a 157 percent increase in underlying profit from a year ago and a 65 percent year-on-year jump in earnings before tax, marking a significant turnaround in the company’s fortunes.

BHP’s posted an annual net loss of US$6.39 billion, its worst ever result, for the year to June 30 2016 as the industry battled big declines in commodity prices.

For copper, BHP said it would revise output guidance at Chile’s Escondida mine, the biggest in the world, where 2,500 workers are on strike.

“We are confident in the long-term outlook for our commodities, particularly oil, with markets expected to rebalance in the near-term, and copper where we expect a deficit to emerge in the early 2020s,” Mackenzie said.

However BHP added in a statement that “the [iron ore] market is likely to come under pressure in the short term from moderating Chinese steel demand growth, high port inventories and incremental low cost supply.”

Anglo American, aonther mining giant, returned to profit in 2016, thanks to recovering iron ore and coal prices alongside reduced costs and asset sales, the group revealed yesterday.

Net profit came in at $1.6 billion (1.5 billion euros) compared with a loss after tax of $5.62 billion in 2015, Anglo said in a statement.

Group revenue rose 1.0 percent to $23.14 billion, with Anglo benefitting also from the dollar’s rally against the South African rand.