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BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP - Analyst Report) has reported financial results for fiscal year 2012 ended June 30, 2012 with diluted earnings per ordinary share of $2.88, down considerably from $4.27 in the year-ago period.

Revenues inched up 0.7% to $72.2 billion from $71.7 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011. Underlying EBIT and EBIDTA were recorded at $27.2 billion and $33.7 billion, down 14.8% and 9% year over year, respectively.

Net operating cash flows decreased marginally to $24.4 billion from $30.1 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Capital and exploration expenditure totaled $20.8 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012. Expenditure on major growth projects came in at $16.3 billion, which includes $5.1 billion on Petroleum projects and $11.2 billion on Minerals projects. Capital expenditure on sustaining and other items stood at $2.0 billion. Exploration expenditure was $2.5 billion, which includes $1.6 billion classified within net operating cash flows.

Net financing cash flows included proceeds from borrowings of $13.3 billion. Such proceeds are partially offset by dividend payments of $5.9 billion and debt repayments of $4.3 billion. Net debt, comprising interest bearing liabilities less cash, was $23.6 billion, up from $17.8 billion as of June 30, 2011. Cash and cash equivalent, net of overdrafts, at the end of the period, was recorded at $4.8 billion, down from $10.1 billion a year ago.

BHP Billiton maintains a progressive dividend policy, upholding shareholder sentiments and confidence. On August 22, 2012, BHP Billiton declared a final dividend of 57 cents per share ($3,049 million), scheduled to be paid on September 28, 2012. BHP Billiton declared an interim dividend of 55 cents per share on February 8, 2012, which has already been paid to holders on March 22, 2012.

BHP Billiton is one of the world’s largest diversified resource companies operating in mineral exploration, production and processing, oil and gas exploration and development, and steel production and merchandising. The company competes directly with the likes of Alcoa Inc (AA - Analyst Report) and Vale S.A (VALE - Analyst Report) and remains positive on the outlook for an improving global economy driven by urbanization and industrialization, in the future ahead.

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