BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, has posted its best half-year net profit in two years.
But at the same time said it was cautious on the short-term global outlook and warned of a slowdown in the economy of China, its biggest customer.
On the 30 billion euro hostile bid for fertiliser maker Potash Corp, Chief Executive Marius Kloppers stressed he would not overpay. He said: “I will be as disciplined on this bid as I’ve been on every other endeavour.”
He added: “The shareholders own the company and it’s my job to create more value for them, not to do any one thing at any cost.”
So far he does not need to increase the offer as no rival bidder has emerged, though Potash has said others are interested, including China’s Sinochem.
Higher metals prices meant BHP Billiton’s net income for the first half was the equivalent of 5.2 billion euros, double its profit in the same period last year.