BHP announces a record dividend

Rebuilding next to the collapsed iron ore waste dam of Brazilian mining company Samarco. Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images
  • BHP full year statutory profit fell 37% to $US3.7 billion.
  • Underlying attributable profit was up 33% at $US8.9 billion.
  • A record final dividend of 63 US cents a share.

BHP posted a 37% drop in statutory profit to $US3.7 billion, dragged down by impairments and by the cost of the fatal Brazil mine disaster, but announced a record dividend for shareholders.

The result includes an exceptional loss of $US5.2 billion after tax, related to the impairment of Onshore US assets, US tax reform and the fatal Samarco dam failure.

Underlying attributable profit of was up 33% at $US8.9 billion, boosted by stronger prices and higher volume of commodities.

Total revenue was 20% higher at $45.81 billion.

The company declared a record final dividend of 63 US cents a share, which includes 17 US cents a share above the 50% minimum payout policy. In total, shareholders are getting $US6.3 billion, at 118 US cents a share, in 2018.

CEO Andrew Mackenzie says the record final dividend reflects a strong operating performance, solid prices and capital discipline.

“Our relentless focus on safety and productivity has released additional volumes across our supply chain, with 8% volume growth for the year,” he says.

“Our balance sheet is strong, with net debt now at the lower end of our target range, and our investment plans on track across iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum.”

BHP had announced the sale of its Onshore US business for $US10.8 billion. The net proceeds are marked for return to shareholders.

“Across our dramatically simplified portfolio of tier one assets, we see this year’s strong momentum carried into the medium term as our leadership, technology and culture drive further increases in productivity, value and returns,” Mackenzie says.

Productivity gains of $US1 billion are now expected for the 2019 financial year.

The 2018 numbers:

Souice: BHP

In the 2018 financial year, BHP reported an exceptional loss of US$650 million after tax in relation to the Samarco dam failure.

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