BHP coffers boosted by five-fold profit rise and US shale sale

BHP (ASX:BHP) has become the latest commodities giant to stage a recovery in its FY financial performance, seeing its underlying profits surge to US$6.7 billion, a five-fold rise on the $1.2 billion made in the previous year.

The Anglo-Australian firm’s cash flow was enhanced by stronger commodity prices, rising to $12.6 billion from $3.4 billion which allowed it to pay off $10 billion in debt, pushing BHP’s total debt down to $16.3 billion.

A slightly-below expectations FY dividend of 83 cents a share will be divvied out by the miner for a total pay-out of $4.4 billion on the back of the firm’s improved performance over 2016/17.

Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said: “Strong momentum will be carried into the 2018 financial year, with volume growth of 7% and further productivity gains expected.

“Our relentless focus on cash flow, capital discipline and value creation should allow us to significantly increase our return on capital by the 2022 financial year.”

Meanwhile, the company confirmed it would be divesting with its US shale assets after deeming the business as ‘non-core’, with a number of parties interested in buying the operations according to Mackenzie.