BHP racks up record $34b profit in FY22

BHP has announced massive numbers in its report for the 2022 financial year, including a record $US36 billion ($51.2 billion) in total announced returns to shareholders.

The major miner told shareholders its underlying attributable profit had risen more than 40 per cent to $US23.8 billion ($33.89 billion) for the year to June 30.

“These strong results were due to safe and reliable operations, project delivery and capital discipline, which allowed us to capture the value of strong commodity prices,” BHP chief executive Mike Henry said.

“BHP remains the lowest-cost iron ore producer globally, and we delivered record annual sales from Western Australia.

Shareholders are set to receive a final dividend of $US1.75 a share, bringing full-year dividends to $US3.25 a share.

The report also indicated an attributable profit of $US30.9 billion ($44 billion), net operating cash flow of $US29.3 billion ($1.73 billion) and record free cash flow of $US24.3 billion ($34.61 billion) for continuing operations.

“BHP enters the 2023 financial year in great shape strategically, operationally and financially, and well prepared to manage an uncertain near-term environment,” Henry said.

Amid the record numbers, Henry said geopolitical factors would continue to affect the company in the near future.

“We expect China to emerge as a source of stability for commodity demand in the year ahead with policy support progressively taking hold,” he said.

“At the same time, we expect to see a slowdown in advanced economies as monetary policy tightens as well as ongoing geopolitical uncertainty and inflationary pressures.

“The direct and indirect impacts of Europe’s energy crisis are a particular point of concern.

“Tight labour markets will remain a challenge for global and local supply chains. Waves of COVID-19 infection continue to occur in the communities where we operate, and we are planning accordingly.”

BHP said its FY22 profit increase stemmed from higher coal and copper prices and a strong underlying operational performance, including record sales at its Western Australia iron ore operations (WAIO) and near record concentrator throughput at its Escondida copper mine in Chile.

The miner said its result was partially offset by COVID-19 restrictions and supply constraints, higher inflation affecting diesel, electricity and consumable prices, along with lower copper grades at Escondida and wet weather at its BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) coal operations in the Bowen Basin.

The FY22 results come in the shadow of BHP’s recently rejected $8.4 billion bid for OZ Minerals, a deal many in the industry believe remains a possibility if BHP raises its initial $25-per-share offer.

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