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BHP, Glencore To Return $11 Billion To Investors As Commodity Prices Soar

Mining giants BHP and Glencore both reported earnings on Tuesday, both announcing billions of U.S. dollars of payback to shareholders as energy and metals commodities rally.  

Glencore reported a net income attributable to equity holders of $5.0 billion for 2021, compared to a loss of $1.9 billion for 2020, amid “multi-year or record high prices for many of our commodities” last year.  

The high income allowed Glencore to announce a total of $4.0 billion of shareholder returns, including a recommended $3.4 billion ($0.26 per share) dividend base distribution (in respect of 2021 cash flows), alongside a $550 million new share buyback program.

Adjusted EBITDA contribution from Glencore’s Energy assets surged by 439% from 2020 to $5.6 billion in 2021, mainly due to the significant increase in average realized export thermal and coking coal prices year over year, and to a lesser extent, higher oil and gas prices, the company said.  

BHP, for its part, reported on Tuesday earnings for the half-year ended December 31, 2021, announcing an underlying attributable profit from operations at $9.7 billion for July to December, up by 57 percent year over year.

BHP said it would pay a record interim dividend of $1.50 per share, or $7.6 billion.

The interim dividend brings total shareholder returns to more than $22 billion over the past 18 months, BHP’s chief executive Mike Henry said.

“Our record interim dividend was supported by our reliable operating performance and continued strong markets for a number of our products,” said Henry.

BHP is offloading its oil and gas assets in an all-stock merger of its petroleum division with Woodside, which will create one of the world’s top ten independent energy companies by production.

Completion of the proposed merger of the Petroleum business with Woodside is expected in the June 2022 quarter, subject to the satisfaction of conditions including approval by Woodside shareholders, BHP said today.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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