BHP Warns Over Virus Impact as Iron Ore Profits Boost New CEO

BHP Group’s first-half earnings surged 29% on higher iron ore prices, allowing the company’s new top executive to extend a run of bumper returns to investors, even as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak stokes short-term uncertainty.

The world’s top miner boosted its interim dividend payment 18%, though acknowledged that move reflected “caution due to near term market volatility driven by the 2019 coronavirus disease outbreak, trade policy and geopolitics.” BHP said Tuesday it will revise down expectations for economic and commodity demand growth, if the virus isn’t “demonstrably well contained” this quarter.

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