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BHP boosts dividend despite profit miss

Prashant Mehra  |  22 Aug 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  

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SYDNEY - [AAP] BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) has posted a full-year profit of $US5.89 billion ($A7.42 billion) as stronger prices for iron ore, coal and petroleum helped the global miner swing back to profitability.

Underlying profit for the year to June 30 jumped to $US6.73 billion, from $US1.22 billion a year ago, as higher margins and cost reductions boosted earnings.

But, the result has still missed analyst expectations for underlying profit of around $US7 billion.

Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said the company had a very strong financial year, with free cash flow of $US12.6 billion--the second highest on record.

"This strong momentum will be carried into the 2018 financial year, with volume growth of 7 per cent and further productivity gains expected," Mr Mackenzie said.

"Our relentless focus on cash flow, capital discipline and value creation should allow us to significantly increase our return on capital by the 2022 financial year."

BHP said its results included an exceptional loss of $US842 million related to the fatal Samarco dam failure in Brazil, an extended strike at its jointly-owned Escondida mine in Chile, and Chilean withholding tax paid at a concessional rate.

The company said it recorded an exceptional loss of $US381 million in relation to the Samarco dam collapse with the mine's operations still suspended.

The miner realised additional productivity gains of $US1 billion in FY2017, and expects to deliver a further $US2 billion of productivity gains over the two years to the end of the 2019 financial year.

BHP trebled its final dividend, joining rivals Rio Tinto and Fortescue in sharply lifting shareholder payouts.

It will pay a full-franked final dividend of US43 cents a share, up from US14 cents a year ago.

BHP SWINGS TO FULL-YEAR PROFIT

* Net profit of $US5.89bn vs $US6.38bn loss

* Underlying profit $US6.7bn vs $US1.2bn

* Revenue $US38.285bn, up 24pct

* Final dividend US43 cents per share vs US14 cents

 

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