THE NEWS WRAP: BHP profits down 30% to $12 billion

Mining giant BHP Billiton has reported a worse-than-expected 30% drop in full-year $US10.88 billion ($A12 billion), despite a $US2.7 billion ($A2.98 billion) drop in operating cost reductions last financial year.


Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie also reported a cut in capital expenditure and costs, from $US22 billion last year to $US16.2 billion in 2013-14.


“We reported a strong financial result in what I believe are challenging times… as well as substantial sustainable and controllable annual cost savings of $US2.7 billion, with a lot more to come,” Mr Mackenzie says.


“Capital and exploration expenditure will decline to $US16.2 billion, which is lower than I initially announced we would achieve.”


NAB on track to report $6 billion full-year profit


NAB has reported a 2% increase in its third quarter earnings to $1.5 billion dollars, placing it on track for a full-year profit of $6 billion.


Chief executive Cameron Clyne credits improvements in the bank’s UK operations and the strength of its marketing strategy for the result.


“The success of that strategy remains evident in our personal banking business, which continues to benefit from mortgage market share gains,” Clyne says in a statement.


“While operating conditions for business banking are challenging, with ongoing weak confidence and subdued volumes, NAB remains strongly committed to supporting business customers.”


ACCI raises doubts over the Coalition’s commitment on spending cuts


Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) chief executive Peter Anderson has questioned Coalition leader Tony Abbott’s commitment to cut spending, including his timeline for balancing the federal budget.


“The proof of the pudding is whether it can apply in government the disciplines it claims to want to have from opposition,” Mr Anderson told the AFR.


“The opposition policy framework is still a work in progress as far as the business community is concerned.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to 15002.99. The Aussie dollar is down to US90.71 cents.


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