URGENT ¥¥¥ BHP first-half profit down 58%

Global mining giant BHP Billiton announced Wednesday its first-half profits fell 58 percent to US$4.2 billion on substantially lower commodity prices.

The result for the six months to December 31 saw revenues fall 14 percent to US$32 billion, but BHP declared an interim dividend of 57 cents a share, up four per cent from a year ago.