BHP annual profit up 86 percent to $23.6 billion

AP News
Posted: Aug 24, 2011 3:19 AM
BHP annual profit up 86 percent to $23.6 billion

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's biggest mining company, said Wednesday its annual profit was up nearly 86 percent amid soaring prices for iron ore and copper.

Net profit was $23.6 billion for the 12 months ended June 30, up from $12.7 billion a year earlier, Melbourne-based BHP said in a statement. Analysts had predicted an annual profit of about $22 billion.

Revenue for the year was up 35.9 percent to $71.7 billion.

BHP said the strong performance was the result of soaring prices for its key commodities that reflected ravenous demand from emerging markets such as China and tight supply.

The miner said it expects "robust demand" in the short and medium term. But it warned that cost pressures could hurt its earnings in the longer term.

"In the current environment, tight labour and raw material markets are presenting a challenge for all operators, and BHP Billiton is not immune from that trend," the company said.

Despite global economic instability, BHP sounded a confident note about the future.

"We remain positive on the longer term outlook for the global economy," the company said. "Over the past decade, emerging economies have contributed more to global growth than the developed world and we expect their share to expand as the process of urbanization and industrialization continues."

BHP declared a final dividend of 55 cents a share.