BHP Billiton reports record loss of $6.4b

BHP Billiton reports record loss of $6.4b

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), the world’s largest mining firm by market value has reported a record loss of US$6.4 billion due to cutting shale value, a commodities slump and the dam disaster in Brazil.

It is the company’s first annual loss since BHP and Billiton merged 15 years ago.

BHP was expected to post a $5.9 billion loss according the Bloomberg analyst estimates.

The mining giant’s slump in profit was largely driven by a 31% dive in revenue due to dropping commodity prices.

BHP noted weaker commodity prices took $10.7 billion off its pre-tax earnings.

The major costs came from cutting the value of its US shale oil and gas assets ($4.9 billion), the Samarco iron ore disaster ($2.2 billion) and funds set aside for global taxation reassessments ($570 million).

Excluding those write-downs, BHP’s underlying net profit collapsed 81% to $1.22 billion.

BHP declared a final dividend of 14 cents per share, down 77% from last year’s 62 cent final pay-out.