17 August 2016 at 5:22 GMT
Reuters (Clyde Russell)
While a record loss is certain to grab media headlines, the real story about BHP Billiton is far more sanguine as the company tries to prove that boring is better. The $6.4 billion loss for the year ended June 30 was largely in line with expectations, and the main contributors of provisions for the dam disaster at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil and the writedown of the US shale gas business had been flagged and well understood by the market. The $1.2 bn in underlying profit was largely the result of the rout in commodity prices, and stands in stark contrast to the $21.7 bn in underlying profit for the year to June 2011, which was both the peak of BHP's earnings and commodity prices.
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