August 25, 2010 / 6:28 AM / in 7 years

BHP Billiton H2 profit up 47 pct, cautious outlook

MELBOURNE, Aug 25 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton (BHP.AX), the world’s biggest miner, reported a 47 percent rise in second-half profit on Wednesday, in line with analysts’ forecasts, after a sharp rebound in iron ore and copper prices.

BHP (BLT.L), which has made a $39 billion hostile bid for top global fertiliser maker Potash Corp POT.TO, said it was cautious on the short-term global outlook and that the Chinese economy, its biggest customer, would slow from recent highs.

    Net profit before one-offs for January-June rose to $6.77 billion from $4.59 billion a year earlier, compared with analysts’ forecasts for around $6.9 billion, according to a survey of 13 international brokers.

    BHP is targeting Potash Corp POT.N with a $130 a share offer to power its next phase of growth, launching into a completely new market for the global miner, which has made some of its shareholders nervous. [ID:nSGE67O017]

    BHP shares have dropped 6.8 percent since announcing the bid a week ago, heavily underperforming a 2.6 percent fall in rival Rio Tinto (RIO.L), as investors are worried about the risks BHP is taking on with the bid. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Valerie Lee)

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