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Monday, 20 August, 2001, 05:45 GMT 06:45 UK
BHP Billiton profits from merger
BHP Billiton logo
The recently merged BHP Billiton has reported a profit of $2.2bn, excluding exceptional costs, for the year to June.

The results are the first since BHP and Billiton merged in March this year to create the largest diversified mining group in the world.

The combined profits were up 26% or $446m when compared with the combined results of the two companies from the previous year.

But including exceptional costs the results were up 1.5% to $1.53bn, a rise of only $23m from the 2000 financial year.

The leading exceptional costs were a $430m pre-tax write-off of the Ok Tedi gold and copper mine in Papua New Guinea and a $520m write-off for a plant in Venezuela, as well as the $92m merger cost.

Digging the future

The result, which was largely in line with market expectations and BHP Billiton chief executive officer Paul Anderson said the merged company had financial strength "across a wide range of world-class businesses."

"They're all performing actually very well," Mr Anderson said adding, "While I agree that we'll have some difficult economic times I think that BHP-Billiton can still prosper in those times".

Other mining company heads have bemoaned the global economic downturn and depressed commodity prices but BHP Billiton is expected to ride through these problems because of its diversified portfolio.

BHP Billiton also killed-off speculation it may be prepared to spin off its petroleum assets, a business believed to be worth 6 billion.

Higher prices for petroleum products and iron ore increased profit by about A$460m compared with the previous year.

See also:

19 Mar 01 | Business
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15 Feb 01 | Business
Anglo American bids for De Beers
12 Feb 01 | Business
Coal boosts Billiton profits
29 Aug 00 | Business
Mining giant in 1bn Alcoa deal
25 Aug 00 | Business
Copper buy for Billiton
05 Feb 01 | Business
Rio Tinto 'to defy slowdown'
08 Sep 00 | Business
Anglo American profits soar
01 Sep 00 | Business
Making a billion - with nickel
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