BHP released its results for the year ended 30 June 2022 at approximately 8.30am (AEST) on 16 August 2022. Mike Henry, Chief Executive Officer and David Lamont, Chief Financial Officer reviewed the Company’s operating and financial performance.
BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry:
“BHP delivered strong operational performance and disciplined cost control to realise record underlying earnings of US$40.6 billion and record free cash flow of US$24.3 billion. We have reduced debt and announced a final dividend of US$1.75 per share, bringing total cash dividends announced for the full year to a record US$3.25 per share.
BHP’s total economic contribution including payments to employees, suppliers, communities, governments and shareholders totalled US$78.1 billion. This includes US$17.3 billion paid to governments through taxes and royalties and US$19.6 billion paid to shareholders after the merger of our Petroleum business with Woodside.
These strong results were due to safe and reliable operations, project delivery and capital discipline, which allowed us to capture the value of strong commodity prices. BHP remains the lowest cost iron ore producer globally and we delivered record annual sales from Western Australia Iron Ore.
I am most proud of our safety performance: BHP has now achieved three-and-a-half years without a fatality and the rate of high-potential injuries has dropped by a third in the past 12 months. We continue to make progress in building inclusive, diverse and high-performing teams and culture, and we remain unwavering in our focus on eliminating sexual harassment, bullying and racism from BHP.
BHP enters the 2023 financial year in great shape strategically, operationally and financially, and well prepared to manage an uncertain near-term environment. During the year, we unified BHP’s corporate structure, merged our Petroleum business with Woodside, completed the sales of our interests in the BMC and Cerrejón energy coal assets, and decided to retain and operate our New South Wales Energy Coal business until mine closure in 2030. We have improved our platform for growth through the Jansen potash project, iron ore and copper.
We are pursuing options to deliver greater value for shareholders by growing the business and our exposure to future-facing commodities. At Western Australia Iron Ore, the ramp-up of South Flank is ahead of schedule and we have revised our medium-term production guidance to more than 300 Mtpa. In the 2023 financial year, we are assessing expansion alternatives to take us toward 330 Mtpa of production.
In Canada, we completed the production shafts at our Jansen potash project and are working to bring forward first production into 2026, as we assess options to accelerate Stage 2. At the same time, we continue to assess and add to our options in copper and nickel.
We expect China to emerge as a source of stability for commodity demand in the year ahead, with policy support progressively taking hold. At the same time, we expect to see a slowdown in advanced economies as monetary policy tightens, as well as ongoing geopolitical uncertainty and inflationary pressures. The direct and indirect impacts of Europe’s energy crisis are a particular point of concern. Tight labour markets will remain a challenge for global and local supply chains. Waves of COVID-19 infection continue to occur in the communities where we operate, and we are planning accordingly.”