Mackenzie happy to be predictable

BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie told the company’s London annual general meeting there would be no change in the company’s strategy following the proposed demerger next year.
Mackenzie happy to be predictable Mackenzie happy to be predictable Mackenzie happy to be predictable Mackenzie happy to be predictable Mackenzie happy to be predictable

O CEO da BHP Billiton, Andrew Mackenzie

Kristie Batten

Mackenzie reiterated the company’s increase in profitability, despite lower commodity prices, and productivity improvements.

He said BHP would continue to use the power of its systems and processes to achieve its target of $US3.5 billion of additional annualised productivity gains by the end of the 2017 financial year.

“Effectively, we will operate more like an advanced manufacturer than a traditional resources company,” he said.

Looking forward, Mackenzie said shareholders could expect “more of the same” from BHP.

“I am very happy to be predictable,” he said.

“Our productivity journey will advance. We will continue to deliver record production in a sustainable way, so that we achieve a 16% increase over the two years to the end of financial year 2015.”

In August, BHP unveiled a plan to split its portfolio and create a new Perth-based entity, which Mackenzie described yesterday as an important step.

“Today we have 41 assets worldwide, 19 of which generate a large percentage of our earnings,” he said.

“We see a future concentrated exclusively on these core minerals and petroleum assets; a 50% reduction from today, and only 12 of the 19 will be operated by BHP Billiton.

“This is a stunningly simple portfolio for a company of our size. The increased focus on our major businesses will unleash more productivity increases, faster and with greater certainty, and the new company will also be one of global significance.”

BHP disappointed some in August when it didn’t announce a buy-back, but Mackenzie reiterated that the company had returned $64 billion to shareholders over the past decade.

“Everything we are doing, including productivity accelerated by the demerger, is aimed at increasing cash returns to you, our shareholders,” he said.

BHP will hold its Australian AGM in Adelaide next month.