BHP builds off diversity to bolster Australian contribution

BHP Olympic Dam. Image: BHP

BHP’s bottom line and the wider Australian economy have benefitted off a year of high commodity prices and solid operational performance.

The company has released a suite of reports, including its annual report, sustainability report and economic contribution report, which revealed a total economic contribution in Australia to the figure of $US29.5 billion ($42.9 billion) in the 2019 financial year.

This figure, which is roughly comparable to the annual Medicare budget, is largely comprised of $US7.9 billion provided to suppliers and $US7.1 billion towards total government payments, including taxes and royalties.

The company’s global economic contribution equalled $US46.2 billion, which is up from $US33.9 billion in the 2018 financial year.

BHP’s results builds on a year in which the company returned a record dividend to shareholders, while also recording an attributable profit of $US8.3 billion.

In a statement to shareholders, BHP chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie attributed this to the company’s commitment to “simplification, capital discipline and culture.”

“From these strong foundations, we are confident in the long-term outlook, with significant opportunities ahead to further transform our business and deliver value and returns for our shareholders,” Mackenzie continued.

Indeed, the company has used this financial year as a launchpad to continue its diversification of commodities and assets through a capital allocation framework.

This includes a portfolio of six major projects under development in petroleum, copper, iron ore and potash, including the most recent approval of the Ruby oil and gas development in in Trinidad and Tobago during August.

“We also had further exploration success in copper and oil and are confident we have a rich set of options to grow value in the future,” Mackenzie said.

BHP’s CEO also noted the company’s ongoing commitment to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

The company now boasts a workforce that comprises almost one-in-four female employees, an increase of nearly seven per cent since 2016.

BHP also remains committed to the reduction of greenhouse emissions followings its announcement of a $US400 million climate investment program.

The company reported that in the 2019 financial year, operational greenhouse gas emissions were three per cent  below its 2017 financial year target baseline.

This forms part of BHP’s commitment to its five-year target to maintain operational greenhouse gas emissions at or below 2017 levels.

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