BHP Billiton on track to post record profit

16th February 2011

The Guardian website reports that BHP's success is a direct result of a commodities boom driven by emerging markets, particularly China.

The newspaper reported BHP is now set to make more than £20bn in 2011, beating the £14bn record set by Shell in 2007.

BHP is listed on the London and Australian stock exchanges, and has come under pressure to make some big acquisitions.

Last year it shelved plans to buy Potash Corporation of Canada, following opposition from the Canadian government; a move that cost the multinational nearly £200m in fees and related expenses.

Observers say that Kloppers is still looking for deals, however, and possible targets include Anadarko Petroleum and Woodside Petroleum.

On the Telegraph James Bruce, portfolio manager at Perpetual Investments, one of BHP's top 10 Australian shareholders, said:

"We think that this demonstrates the challenges that the industry is having satisfying rising demand, while replacing declining production from mature operations."

BHP said it was  "cautiously optimistic" on the short-term outlook for the global economy.

"Longer term, we remain confident in the outlook for our core commodities based on emerging markets being the principal drivers of growth," Mr Kloppers said.

"We expect markets to be volatile and event driven, however the continuing urbanization and industrialization of emerging economies, which is still in its early stages, should provide strong structural support over the long term."

While BHP's expected record profits have attracted plenty of comment, many readers are questioning the company's heritage, with debate raging between Austrialian and UK users as to whether it can be called a British company.


Sharewatcher said on the Guardian website: "Interesting that you refer to BHP Billiton as a British Company. As of 29/08/08 (latest figures I could find) there was 3,287 m shares held by Australian Addresses and only 1,726 m shares held by British Addresses. Head Office is in Melbourne.  Shows how the world has turned in that an Australian Company that now heads profitability on your stock exchange."

ConfutatisMaledictis responds: "You obviously don't know that BHP Billiton is dually-listed in London and Melbourne, and was formed from the merger of various companies, not just Broken Hill. BHP Billiton Plc is the British company, and BHP Billiton Ltd is the Australian entity.

Usually it is described as Anglo-Australian (just like Rio Tinto, which more or less has the same corporate structure), and yes the way this article just calls BHP British is misleading. But no more misleading than calling it 'the big Australian'."

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