18 September 1998 09:04 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)-- Australia's largest resources company, Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP), announced Friday that Q1 (June-August) profits for the current financial year rose by 23.6%, aided by cost-cutting and asset sales that helped offset falling commodity prices.
The company reported net profits of A$351m ($208m) before "abnormals", beating expectations of A$265m as it reaped a greater-than-expected A$100m from asset sales.
Sales in the quarter rose by 1.3% to A$5.2bn.
Profits from BHP's petroleum unit (which includes its chemical operations) - usually its biggest earner - fell by 40% to A$93m. Falling commodity prices stripped A$200m from earnings, but cost-cutting put back A$96m while a better exchange rate added A$50m.
The bulk of the profits from asset sales came from divestment of part of the company's stake in engine-development company Orbital Engine Corp. That contributed A$46m.
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