BHP profits double on strong demand
BHP Billiton has revealed that its annual profits more than doubled. The results come as the world's biggest miner faces having to hike its $40bn (€31.5bn) takeover offer for fertiliser giant Potash Corp.
BHP said its profits after tax soared to nearly $13bn in 2009/2010 as commodity prices rebounded thanks to renewed demand for raw materials from emerging markets, notably China.
The Anglo-Australian miner last week launched a mammoth hostile all-cash takeover bid for Canada's Potash which values the world's largest fertiliser producer at $40bn. On Monday, Potash formally rejected the bid as "wholly inadequate" and said it was exploring other offers.
A report yesterday said Chinese energy giant Sinochem Group was "evaluating" the possibility of launching a rival bid. BHP has shown itself willing to walk away from big deals after abandoning a hostile $150bn bid for rival Rio Tinto in late 2008.
BHP Billiton's chief executive, Marius Kloppers, who had launched the pursuit of Rio Tinto, said yesterday that the company would apply discipline over Potash.
BHP, meanwhile, announced that its net profits for the 12 months to June rocketed to $12.7bn from $5.9bn in 2008/09. Earnings would have been even higher had BHP not suffered a $59m charge owing to a deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the recent huge oil spill there.
Revenue rose by 5.2pc to $52.8bn in 2009/10. BHP added that it remained cautious on the short-term outlook for the global economy. (Bloomberg)