BHP Group FY21 Underlying Attributable Profit Rises; Announces Petroleum Merger With Woodside

BHP Group PLC (BHP.AX,BLT.L,BBL,BHP) reported a strong underlying operational performance in fiscal year 2021. BHP announced the combination of Woodside (WOPEF.PK,WOPEY.PK,WPL.AX) and BHP's oil and gas business. BHP also plans to unify its corporate structure under existing Australian parent company to reduce duplication and streamline governance and internal processes.

Under an all-stock merger, BHP's oil and gas business would merge with Woodside, and Woodside would issue new shares to be distributed to BHP shareholders. The expanded Woodside would be owned 52 percent by existing Woodside shareholders and 48 percent by existing BHP shareholders. The combined business will be led by Meg O'Neill as CEO. The merger is expected to be completed in second quarter of calendar year 2022.

BHP plans to unify its Dual Listed Company structure. Plc shareholders' shares will be exchanged for Limited shares on a one-for-one basis. The unification is anticipated to occur in the first half of calendar year 2022, with the proposed deal with Woodside to follow.

For the year ended 30 June 2021, BHP Group reported underlying attributable profit of $17.08 billion, up 88% from prior year. Underlying basic earnings per share, in cents, was 337.7 compared to 179.2. Profit before tax increased to $24.60 billion from $13.51 billion. Earnings from continuing operations per ordinary share, in cents, was 223.0 compared to 157.0. Fiscal year revenue from continuing operations increased to $60.82 billion from $42.93 billion, last year.

BHP has approved $5.7 billion in capital expenditure for the Jansen Stage 1 potash project in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. Jansen S1 is anticipated to produce approximately 4.35 million tonnes of potash per annum. The potash project will create at least 3,500 jobs during peak construction and 600 in operation.

The Board has decided to pay a final dividend of $2.00 per share, which includes an additional amount of $0.91 per share above the 50% minimum payout policy.

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