9 Feb 2012

Profit down at BHP

7:05 am on 9 February 2012

BHP Billiton has posted a drop in net profit for the first half of the financial year, blaming falling prices for commodities including iron ore, copper and coal.

Profit for the six months to December was $A9.2 billion, a 12% fall compared with the same period a year earlier and below analysts' expectations.

The world's largest miner says it achieved record iron ore production in the six months to December but global demand has dropped.

Short-term outlook is mixed, but chief executive Marius Kloppers says Australia's economic stability should offer protection in the long term.