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Mining giant BHP says its half-year profit down due to lower iron ore and copper prices

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Global mining group BHP reported Monday that its profit from operations for the half-year ended 31 December 2022 (HY22) was US$10.8 billion, down 27% compared to HY21, driven by a US$4.8 billion reduction in revenue which largely reflects lower iron ore and copper prices.

BHP said that its HY22 attributable profit from total operations was US$6.5 billion and underlying attributable profit was US$6.6 billion, each down 32% from the prior period.

BHP also announced “strong” first half dividend of 90 US cents per share, “on the back of solid operating performance.”

Previously, the company reported that its total copper production increased by 12% to 834 kt in HY22 year-over-year.

The company said that Escondida copper production increased by 5% to 511 kt primarily due to higher concentrator feed grade of 0.79%, compared to 0.72% in the December 2021 half year.

The company also reported that its total HY22 iron ore production increased by 2% to 132 Mt. BHP’s HY22 metallurgical coal attributable production increased by 5% to 14 Mt.

The company’s HY22 energy coal production decreased by 24% to 5 Mt. Nickel West production decreased by 2% to 38 kt, reflecting the slower than expected ramp up of the refinery following planned smelter and refinery maintenance during the December 2022 quarter.

BHP said it is positive about the demand outlook in the second half of FY23 and into FY24, with strengthening activity in China on the back of recent policy decisions the major driver.

“We expect domestic demand in China and India to provide stabilising counterweights to the ongoing slowdown in global trade and in the economies of the US, Japan and Europe. The long-term outlook for our commodities remains strong given population growth, rising living standards and the metals intensity of the energy transition, including for steel making raw materials,” it added.

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