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BHP Billiton Record Half Year Profit

BHP Billiton Record Half Year Profit - The world's biggest mining firm BHP Billiton has made record half-year profits, and is promising to give back $10bn (£6.25bn) to shareholders.

First-half profits nearly doubled to $10.5bn as the boom in demand for commodities boosted prices of its iron ore and copper products.

The Anglo-Australian company said it expected demand to continue to rise.

BHP, which was forced to call off a merger with Canada's giant Potash Corp, benefits hugely from Chinese demand.

The company's chief executive, Marius Kloppers, said in a statement: "While we expect a slowdown in the growth rate of global commodity demand in calendar year 2011, the economic environment still underpins a robust near term outlook for our products."

BHP has virtually no debt, and with the failure of the recent Potash merger has no obvious target for a new major tie-up.

Potash was the latest significant potential deal to founder in the past three years.

BHP Billiton Record Half Year Profit

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