BHP Billiton Sets Aussie Profit Record

Fueled by strong growth in the second half of the year, BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) enjoyed an 86% surge in full-year profits and hiked its dividend by 22%.

BHP, the worlds largest miner, said its second-half earnings leaped 62% to $10.98 billion, but that missed consensus estimates from analysts for $11.7 billion.

The basic materials heavyweight posted full-year profits of $23.65 billion, up 86% from a profit of $12.72 billion a year earlier. The profit of nearly $24 billion marked an all-time record for an Australian-based company, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Excluding one-time items, full-year profits hit $31.98 billion, slightly topping forecasts from analysts. BHP said full-year revenue jumped 36% to $72.74 billion.

Inspired by the results, BHP increased its final dividend to 55 cents a share, up from 45 cents previously.

BHP issued a mixed economic outlook given a slew of challenges facing the global economy. The company also warned it is being hit by a number of cost pressures.

Global imbalances and high levels of sovereign debt continue to create uncertainty and a protracted recovery remains our base case assumption for the developed world, BHP said in a statement. However, a coordinated policy response has the potential to engender confidence and ease the volatility that has been the dominant theme of recent years.

BHPs U.S.-listed shares slipped 0.3% to $80.66 ahead of Wednesdays open. The stock has slid about 13% year-to-date.