The world's biggest miner BHP Group said on Tuesday its first-half profit fell 8 percent as copper earnings slumped because of declining ore quality at its Escondida mine and a number of production outages globally.
Underlying profit from continuing operations for the six months that ended on Dec. 31 fell to $4.03 billion from $4.40 billion a year ago, the company said in a statement. That missed consensus estimates compiled by Vuma Financial of $4.209 billion.
"Profit is often the most difficult thing for people to forecast. We have had quite a number of tax settlements in the half and that changes our tax bill somewhat," Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Group, told CNBC's Karen Tso on Tuesday.
"I would say, apart from earnings, this in line or slightly better in line than what peopled forecasted," Mackenzie said.
Underlying profit is watched by analysts and investors as a measure of the company's performance exclusive of one-time gains and losses.