BHP Billiton boosts interim dividend as iron ore prices soar

BHP Billiton boosts interim dividend as iron ore prices soar
BHP Billiton boosts interim dividend as iron ore prices soar

Mining giant BHP Billiton rewarded shareholders with a bigger than expected dividend on Tuesday, signalling its growing confidence amid a resurgence in commodity prices.

The world's biggest miner reported a near eight-fold rise in underlying first-half net profit to $3.24 billion from $412 million a year earlier, just missing one median analyst forecast for $3.4 billion, but topping another survey's expectations. It declared a first-half dividend of 40 cents, up from 16 cents a year ago.

"This is a strong result that follows several years of a considered and deliberate approach to improve productivity and redesign our portfolio and operating model," Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said in a statement.

—CNBC contributed to this report.

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