Contractors cut as BHP sticks to its guns

BHP Billiton has reiterated plans to simplify its portfolio and lower costs, with new figures showing it boosted employee numbers and slashed contractors over the last 12 months.
Contractors cut as BHP sticks to its guns Contractors cut as BHP sticks to its guns Contractors cut as BHP sticks to its guns Contractors cut as BHP sticks to its guns Contractors cut as BHP sticks to its guns

O CEO da BHP Billiton, Andrew Mackenzie

Andrew Duffy

New updates on the company’s spin-off plans formed a key part of BHP’s annual report today, with chairman Jacques Nasser telling shareholders a London-listing for the new venture was now under consideration.

Other key highlights from the report included details on a boost to the company’s employee workforce, which rose marginally from 46,892 people in 2013 to 47,044 this year.

The expansion came at the same time as 2571 contractor positions were cut, with that portion of the workforce dropping 3.2% to 76,759.

All-up, the company’s total employee and contractor base fell 1.9% to 123,803 after reaching 126,222 in 2013.

Breaking down each region of operations, the Australasian workforce added 1071 positions to land at 23,048.

The increase was primarily due to a boost in the iron ore business, particularly the Jimblebar operations in the Pilbara.

An increase was also made in the coal business with the addition of the Daunia and Caval Ridge workforces.

Looking at future growth, CEO Andrew Mackenzie said BHP would continue to cut expenditure while still focusing on key areas of growth.

“We continue to invest selectively in those projects that meet our demanding criteria,” he said.

“In financial year 2014, we reduced our share of exploration and capital expenditure by 32% to $US15.2 billion ($A17.1 billion) and expect this to decline to $14.8 billion in FY2015.

“This approach has increased internal competition for capital, improved our capital efficiency and provides for long-term, sustainable shareholder value.”

Mackenzie earned a $7.9 million package in FY2014, substantially less than the $16 million predecessor Marius Kloppers made in his final year in the job.

“Last year, when Mr Mackenzie was appointed to the CEO role, the board and committee believed that some downward rebasing of his remuneration package, relative to that of the former CEO, was appropriate; a view supported by Mr Mackenzie,” BHP said.

“This year, following the committee’s annual review process, the FY2015 base salary of Mr Mackenzie has not been increased.

“Likewise, other elements of Mr Mackenzie’s total target remuneration will remain the same.”

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