(Boursier.com) – BHP Billiton is no exception. Leaded by huge write-downs, the world’s largest mining group suffered a heavy half-year loss and announced for the first time since 1998 a decrease in its dividend to cope with falling commodity. BHP Billiton has reported a net loss of 5.67 billion in the first half of fiscal year 2016, its first deficit in over 16 years. The group recorded a net profit of $ 4.3 billion a year earlier. The underlying profit slumped to $ 412 million, against $ 4.89 billion a year earlier and $ 585 million consensus.
The company reduced its interim dividend by 74% to 16 cents per share, while analysts were hoping for 31 cents. The group broke with its commitment to maintain or increase its dividend each semester in hopes to maintain its credit rating “A”, the highest category in a mining industry plagued by its worst crisis in almost 20 years.
BHP said it expected a prolonged period of low commodity prices and increased volatility. He announced a simplification of its business model.