Home NEWS Science BHP Billiton digs up big dividend but earnings disappoint

BHP Billiton digs up big dividend but earnings disappoint

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BHP Billiton has rewarded investors with a bumper dividend payout, but its shares dropped after its earnings fell short of City expectations.

The FTSE 100 company, the largest miner in the world by revenue, said it had enjoyed “higher commodity prices and a solid operating performance” in the six months to Dec 31.

BHP raised its interim dividend by nearly 40pc, to 55 US cents a share, well above its minimum payout level.

But City analysts zeroed in on its earnings performance, which disappointed forecasts. Underlying earnings before interest, tax and other deductions jumped 14pc to $11.2bn (£8bn), 3pc below predictions.

Net debt fell by $900m to $15.4bn, but this was also higher than analysts expected, prompting investors to send its London shares down 3.62pc to £15.05.

Revenue climbed 13.7pc to $21.78bn, while pre-tax profits rose 8.6pc to $6bn. However BHP’s after-tax profits slumped as it took a $1.8bn one-off hit from tax reforms in the US, which forced it to pay some deferred taxes.

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