The market has warmed to Australian mining firm BHP Billiton’s (BLT) results, despite a impairment-driven record loss of $6.4 billion, as the underlying numbers came in ahead of expectations.

Underlying profit fell 81% year-on-year to $1.2 billion ahead of a consensus forecast $1.1 billion. In a widely expected move, the dividend is cut by 75% to 30 cents.

Shares in BHP are currently trading 3.8% higher at £10.82.

The miner has reported productivity gains of $437 million in the six months to 30 June.

In addition, BHP has cut cash costs by up to 30% for Escondida, Western Australia iron ore and Queensland coal.

Canaccord says the results beat expectations, noting that copper is the strongest division with EBITDA of $2.6 billion for the full year.

The analyst also highlights that absolute costs were 7% lower than guidance as a result of cost initiates.

BHP is positive about the copper outlook as demand is supported by China’s shift toward consumption.

In addition, the miner says coal prices are being driven by seasonal demand, domestic capacity controls in China and temporary supply disruptions in Australia and Mozambique.


Issue Date: 16 Aug 2016