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Press Release by BHP
Safety and sustainability: We will continue our work to improve safety at our operations
- Tragically we had a fatality at Saraji in December 2018, despite improvements in our safety performance indicators. Maximise cash flow: Solid free cash flow generation and margin above 50%
- Attributable profit of US$3.8 billion and Underlying attributable profit(i) of US$3.7 billion down 8% from the prior period.
- Underlying EBITDA(i) of US$10.5 billion at a margin(i) of 52% from continuing operations.
- Net operating cash flow of US$6.7 billion and free cash flow(i) of US$3.6 billion from continuing operations with volumes and commodity prices broadly in line with the prior period.
- Productivity(i) guidance is now expected to be broadly flat for the 2019 financial year largely reflecting the unplanned production outages at Olympic Dam, Western Australia Iron Ore, Spence and Nickel West. Capital discipline: Net debt reduced to US$9.9 billion and to remain at the lower end of the target range
- Net debt(i) of US$9.9 billion, reduced by US$1.0 billion from 30 June 2018 (reduced by US$5.5 billion from 31 December 2017), which includes US$7.0 billion(ii) of proceeds received from the Onshore US sale, partially offset by the completion of a US$5.2 billion off-market BHP Group Limited share buy-back.
- Capital and exploration expenditure(i) of US$3.5 billion. Guidance unchanged at below US$8 billion per annum for the 2019 and 2020 financial years. This includes investments in the high returning West Barracouta (Bass Strait) and Atlantis Phase 3 (US Gulf of Mexico) projects approved in December 2018 and February 2019, respectively.
- In exploration, we encountered oil at Trion (Mexico), hydrocarbons at Bongo-2 (Trinidad and Tobago) and had early success at our copper exploration program in the Stuart Shelf (South Australia). We also added new optionality with interests acquired in the Orphan Basin (offshore Eastern Canada) and SolGold (Cascabel copper project in Ecuador). Value and returns: Onshore US sale completed with US$10.4 billion net proceeds returned to shareholders
- The Onshore US sales process was completed on 31 October 2018, with the net proceeds of US$10.4 billion returned to shareholders through a combination of an off-market buy-back in December 2018 and a special dividend (US$1.02 per share) in January 2019. -
-The Board has determined to pay an interim dividend of 55 US cents per share which includes an additional amount of 18 US cents per share (equivalent to US$0.9 billion) above the 50% minimum payout policy. This brings the total announced returns to shareholders over the last six months to US$13.2 billion.
- Underlying return on capital employed(i) , excluding Onshore US assets, of 15% (after tax).
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