BHP earnings surge 31%

|About: BHP Billiton Limited (BHP)|By:, SA News Editor

BHP Billiton's (BHP) underlying FH1 profit jumped 31% to $7.76B and exceeded consensus of $6.9B, helped by a rise in its earnings from its iron ore operations, cost cuts and the improving global economy.

Revenue increased 5.9% to $33.9B.

Annualized cost cuts $4.9B, projects $5.5B by end of FY.

Expects global economy to continue growing.

Iron ore underlying EBIT jumped 60% to $6.5B; copper slipped $200M to $2.9B; coal $510M vs $79M prior; petroleum -16% to $2.5B.

BHP declared a dividend of $0.59 for the period, up from $0.59 from the previous corresponding period. The record date is March 7 and the payment date is March 26.

The mining giant said its strong cash flows could enable it to consider a substantial dividend increase and shareholder return in the future. The company also plans to reduce net debt to $25B by June 2014 from $27.1B.

Shares +0.4% in London. (PR)