New CEO for BHP Billiton
Profits plummet at the world's largest mining group
BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, has appointed a new chief executive as it reported a 58 per cent decline in first-half profit.
Andrew Mackenzie (56), head of the Australian based group's copper division, will succeed Marius Kloppers (50), who failed to deliver on about $200 billion (€150bn) of potential takeovers, on May 10th.
Under Kloppers, who became CEO in 2007, the aborted or rejected deals included hostile bids for Rio Tinto Group and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Kloppers is the third head of a global mining company to step down since October as producers struggle with project write-downs, escalating costs and the aftermath of failed deals.
The appointment of Mackenzie, a former 22-year-veteran of BP Plc who speaks five languages and joined BHP from Rio Tinto Group in 2007, won't change BHP's strategy, chairman Jac Nasser said in Sydney.
Net profit at the group fell to $4.2 billion from $9.9 billion a year ago, with the aluminium and nickel write- downs offset by gains from the sales of its Richards Bay minerals stake, its Browse gas stake, its diamonds business, and Yeelirie uranium deposit.
The group said that it expects global commodity prices to remain under pressure as new low-cost supplies come into production, even through demand is expected to improve over the next 12 months.
BHP raised its interim dividend by 3.6 per cent to 57 cents, in line with analysts' forecasts.
BHP fell by 0.9 per cent to A$38.65 at the close of trading in Sydney, trimming its gain for the past six months to 17 per cent.