MELBOURNE (Reuters) – BHP Group posted its largest annual profit in five years and record full-year dividends, but its share price eased as the world’s biggest miner flagged global economic headwinds that could hit demand for its key commodities, iron ore and copper.
Both profit and dividends slightly undershot expectations as BHP (BHP.AX) kept cash in its coffers in the face of risks to global economic growth such as the Sino-U.S. trade war and as costs rise at some of its operations.
BHP shares edged down 0.4 cents to A$36.10 (20.16 pounds) on Tuesday, while the broader Australian market was up slightly .
“As a BHP shareholder you can’t be too disappointed. It’s been a great year for the company, they have made a lot of money,” said Brenton Saunders of Pendal Group in Sydney, a fund management firm that holds shares in the miner.
“That’s in a large part a function of commodity markets and less so a function of the specifics of managing and running a business like this.” BHP on Tuesday announced a 78 cent dividend, meaning that it will hand back $3.9 billion to investors in addition to $17 billion already announced for the financial year that ended in June.