BHP's iron core won't rust

As commodity prices for most of BHP's key earners soften, the strength of the group's core strategy becomes even more apparent.

At face value BHP Billiton’s first-half result might appear a little disappointing. In the resources boom era, the market has become accustomed to ever-soaring profits and dividends and regular capital management initiatives from the industry heavyweight – not profit declines, steady dividends and no buybacks.

Appearances can, however, be deceptive and in some respects the modest 5.5 per cent fall in earnings underscores the resilience of the vast portfolio of high-quality projects the group has developed.

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