[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
BHP Billiton annual profits dive
Slowdown in global economic growth blamed for weaker prices for the company's key commodities.
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2012 16:41
Lower commodity prices and high write-downs on the company's key commodities hurt performance [AFP]

BHP Billiton Ltd, the world's biggest miner, has said that its annual profits plunged more than a third as a slowdown in global economic growth led to weaker prices for its key commodities.

The company blamed its performance on sharply lower commodity prices and high write-downs on its shale gas and nickel assets.

Net profit for the 12 months to June 30 was $15.4 billion, down 34.8 per cent from $23.6 billion in the same period a year ago, Melbourne-based BHP said in a statement.

Revenue for the year rose 0.7 per cent to $72.2 billion, from $71.7 billion last year.

Immediately after releasing the results, BHP announced it was delaying a plan for a massive $30 billion expansion of its Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine in southern Australia.

CEO Marius Kloppers cited lower commodity prices and higher capital costs as reasons behind the delay. The company said it would explore the possibility of a less expensive expansion instead.

In the short-term, BHP said it anticipates more volatility in commodity markets amid weakness in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

"However, in the medium term we expect supportive economic policy and a broad growth bias, particularly in China, to lead to measured improvement in the external environment beginning in the first half of the 2013 financial year," the miner said.

BHP declared a final dividend of 57 cents a share.

237

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.