Miner BHP Billiton posts record profits

19-08-2008

Miner BHP Billiton posts record profits
Miner BHP Billiton today reported a 12.4 per cent rise in profits to $15.4 billion (£8.2 billion).

The surge in commodity prices saw the Anglo-Australian firm record a 25.3 per cent rise in revenues to $59.5 billion for the last year.

"Our results were outstanding in the context of a challenging supply environment which was characterised by unexpected disruptions, rising input prices, skills shortages and the further devaluation of the US dollar," the firm said.

The firm saw "significant structural weaknesses in developed economies" over the last year, but strong support for the global economy to come from the continuing massive industrialisation in China.

Looking forward, the miner expected global economic growth to slow, while the ability of central banks to stimulate economies will be squeezed by rising inflation, particularly in food and energy, alongside weakening economic growth.

It also predicted commodity prices to remain high, "albeit with higher volatility", and demand to remain strong

Higher inflation is also forecast to have a negative impact on emerging markets
"However, emerging market economies should remain relatively strong on the back of continued domestic infrastructure investment and regional trade," BHP Billion forecast.

"While short-term disruptions may occur, we expect that their long-term economic growth will remain robust as they continue on the path to industrialisation."

Focus now turns to BHP Billiton's proposed $127 billion takeover of rival Rio Tinto, which is currently being investigated by the EU.

In London at 9:31 BST, the BHP Billiton share price was up 0.98 per cent to 1,544p.

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