BHP Group reported a 32.1% drop in first-half profit on Tuesday as strict zero-tolerance policies towards the coronavirus in China, the world's largest consumer, put pressure on iron ore prices and rising inflation increased production costs.
Miners have struggled with rising costs and a tight labor market amid a sharp drop in iron ore prices in the second half of 2022. However, the Melbourne-based miner is seeing increased demand for its steel products from China as the world's second-largest economy eases coronavirus-related restrictions and bails out its struggling property sector.
The world's largest mining company said core income attributable to continuing operations was $6.60 billion in the six months ended December 31, compared to $9.72 billion a year earlier. That falls short of Vuma Financial's $6.82 billion estimate.
BHP, which offered to buy copper and gold producer OZ Minerals Ltd for $9.6 billion in November, announced an interim dividend of $0.90 per share, up from $1.50 per share announced the previous year.