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BHP Billiton Reported Record Annual Profit

BHP Billiton Ltd, the world's largest mining company

Mining giant BHP Billiton reported a record annual profit and says it expects demand for commodities to remain strong.

Net profit for the 12 months ended June 30 climbed 14.7 per cent to $US15.39 billion ($17.8 billion), from $US13.416 billion in the previous year.

BHP Billiton is reaping the rewards from the rapid urbanisation of China and other developing nations that has been driving up demand for commodities and their prices for the past seven years.

BHP Billiton's petroleum division, the key differentiator between it and takeover target Rio Tinto Ltd, was the second biggest earner for the group.