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BHP profit hit by pandemic, warns growth cooling outside China

imageStock Markets41 minutes ago (Aug 17, 2020 07:05PM ET)

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(C) Reuters. A tonne of nickel powder made by BHP Group sits in a warehouse at its Nickel West division, south of Perth

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(Reuters) – BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) reported a lower-than-expected annual profit on Tuesday, as the miner warned of slowing economic growth outside China due to the impact of a coronavirus-led downturn.

While a sharp economic recovery in China helped BHP report a 4% rise in annual iron ore output last month and fuelled optimism over future growth, uncertainty over demand growth elsewhere continues to persist.

“We expect most major economies will contract heavily in 2020, China being the exception,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Henry said.

The world’s largest listed miner also said it was looking to divest its thermal coal operations and intends to focus on higher-quality coking coals.

Underlying profit attributable from continuing operations for the year ended June 30 fell to $9.06 billion from $9.47 billion a year earlier, missing estimates of $9.42 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The profit miss was in contrast to rival Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), which rode its iron ore-rich portfolio to beat profit estimates last month.

BHP declared a final dividend of 55 cents per share, down from 78 cents a year earlier.

BHP profit hit by pandemic, warns growth cooling outside China

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