BHP breaks dividend record after best profit in a decade

BHP, the largest Australian mining company, has reported its best annual profit in more than a decade and unveiled record dividends for its shareholders after a year of booming prices for many of its biggest commodities.

The Melbourne-based mining giant told its investors on Tuesday its underlying attributable profit had risen more than 40 per cent to a better-than-expected $US23.8 billion for year to June 30.

BHP is the largest Australian mining company and one of the biggest exporters of the steel-making raw material iron ore.Credit:Tony McDonough

BHP’s shareholders would receive a final dividend of $US1.75 a share, the board said, bringing full-year dividends to $US3.25 a share.

“These strong results were due to safe and reliable operations, project delivery and capital discipline, which allowed us to capture the value of strong commodity prices,” BHP chief executive Mike Henry said.

“BHP remains the lowest-cost iron ore producer globally, and we delivered record annual sales from Western Australia.”

Both the underlying profit result and size the dividends exceeded the average forecasts of most industry analysts, who had expected dividends of $US3.12 a share.

BHP’s bumper results come after a period of high global prices for many of the commodities it extracts and sells across the globe, including copper and coal.

Prices of company’s biggest earner, the steel-making raw material iron ore, averaged between $US110 and $US140 a tonne during the past financial year, but have since fallen to as low as $US100 a tonne as COVID-19 restrictions soften steel demand in China.

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