BHP Billiton profit tumbles as commodity rout bites

BHP Billiton posted a significant fall in profit in the face of a painful commodity price rout as it warned that the slowdown in China's economy would likely mean further volatility for markets.

The mining giant said profits after tax for the full year ending in June tumbled 86 percent to $1.91 billion. It insisted, however, that its commitment to a progressive dividend would remain unchanged, as it increased its full-year pay out by 2 percent for the full year.

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Ahead of the group's earnings, analysts at Goldman Sachs said they remained bearish on all four pillars of BHP Billiton - oil, copper, iron ore and coal - over the near- to medium-term, and that earnings momentum for the company remained negative.

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