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Business

World's largest mining firm in profit rebound

The world's largest mining company, BHP Billiton, has reported a considerable rebound in underlying and operating earnings. The firm noted it had profited from soaring iron ore prices and improved productivity.

Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton said Tuesday it logged a dramatic surge in half-year profits on the back of higher raw materials prices.

Underlying profit (excluding one-off effects and other infrequent factors) of $3.2 billion (3.03 billion euros) and earnings before tax of $9.9 billion for the final six months of 2016 exceeded analysts' expectations.

The results marked a 157-percent increase in underlying profit from a year ago and a 65-percent year-on-year jump in operating earnings (pre-tax profit).

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BHP Billiton's half-year figures meant a significant turnaround in the company's fortunes, with the miner posting an annual net loss of $6.39 billion for the year to June 30, 2016, its worst ever result as the firm battled big declines in commodity prices.

Commenting on the much improved performance announced on Tuesday, CEO Andrew Mackenzie said "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."

BHP added in a statement that the iron ore market was likely to come under pressure in the near future from moderating Chinese steel demand growth, high port inventories and incremental low-cost supply.

hg/jd (AFP, dpa)

 

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