BHP has turned on the dividend pipe after posting a 16% lift in revenue to $US21.78 billion for the half year to December.
Profit after tax was down 37% to $US2.01 billion, mainly because of an exceptional loss of $US2 billion related to tax reform in the US and the fatal Samarco mine dam disaster in Brazil.
Underlying attributable profit was $US4.1 billion, compared to $US3.2 billion in the same six months last year.
However, the world’s biggest miner posted a dividend of 55 US cents fully franked, up from 40 US cents last year.
The dividend is 17 US cents a share above the 50% minimum payout policy.
CEO Andrew Mackenzie says higher commodity prices and a solid operating performance delivered free cash flow of $US4.9 billion.
“We used this cash to further reduce net debt and increase returns to shareholders through higher dividends,” he says.
“We are on track to deliver further productivity gains of $US2 billion by the end of the 2019 financial year as we secure improvements in both operating and capital productivity, aided by smarter technology application across our value chain.
“Our capital expenditure program remains focused on high-return, low-risk development opportunities in commodities where we see greatest potential. We remain firm in our resolve to maximise cash flow, maintain discipline and increase shareholder value and returns.”
Here are the half year numbers in detail: