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BHP has posted a 58pc fall in first-half profits.
The West Australian BHP has posted a 58pc fall in first-half profits.

BHP Billiton has posted a 58 per cent fall in first-half profit to $US4.24 billion ($A4.14 billion) because of lower commodity prices and a weak US dollar.

Mr Kloppers is to be replaced by the 56-year-old head of BHP's non-ferrous business, Andrew Mackenzie.

BHP's net profit in the six months to December 31 was down from $US9.94 billion ($A9.70 billion) in the previous corresponding period.

The result included $US1.4 billion ($A1.37 billion) in one-off costs from asset sales.

Profit excluding one-off items was $US5.7 billion ($A5.56 billion) in the six months to December, down 43 per cent from $US9.94 billion ($A9.70 billion) for the December 2011 half, because of falls in iron ore and other commodity prices in 2012.

Analysts had expected a net profit excluding one-offs of $US5.69 billion ($A5.55 billion).

Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $US9.8 billion ($A9.57 billion) was down 38 per cent from $US15.7 billion ($A15.32 billion), but slightly higher than analyst expectations.

More to come…