BHP Billiton Posts 47% Profit Drop But Hikes Dividend

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BHP Billiton Ltd. said early Tuesday in Australia that its profit for the second half of last year fell more than 47% to US$4.27 billion, with an almost 12% decrease in revenue to $29.9 billion. However, the result exceeded a forecast $3.6 billion profit tipped in a Wall Street Journal survey. The slower profit growth came as iron-ore and crude-oil prices fell dramatically over the period. BHP nonetheless raised its interim dividend to 62 cents, up from 59 cents a year earlier.

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