MELBOURNE Feb 18 BHP Billiton
reported a 31 percent rise in first-half underlying profit on
Tuesday, well above market forecasts, bolstered by aggressive
cost cutting and volume growth.
"We are well placed to extend our strong track record of
capital management," the top global miner said.
Underlying attributable profit rose to $7.76 billion for the
six months to December, up from $5.94 billion a year earlier.
Analysts had been expecting a profit of $6.93 billion on the
Despite beating profit forecasts, BHP raised its interim
dividend by only 3.5 percent to $0.59 a share, in line with
consensus and its normal practice of paying an interim dividend
in line with the final dividend from the year before.
BHP's Australian shares closed at A$38.02 on Monday ahead of
the half-year results, down 1.7 percent over the past year.