Mining giant BHP Billiton has warned that companies may need to become more flexible if they are to adequately deal with changing market conditions.
The news may encourage businesses to consider their current approach to mining training, with BHP stating that more agile firms will reap the benefits.
In its annual report, published yesterday (September 25), the company claimed commodity values are unlikely to recover in the short term due to increased supply lowering prices.
BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser said drop offs in investment are not necessarily bad news, as they will result in more balanced markets.
“We maintain a positive outlook over the long term as the fundamentals of wealth creation, demographics and urbanisation continue to create demand for commodities across Asia and other markets,” he stated.
“All resources companies will need to improve productivity and be flexible enough to adapt to change in this more challenging market.”
Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie admitted it was a difficult time for the industry, but argued there are opportunities to deliver strong margins through a simpler and more efficient capital structure.
He noted that the organisation performed slightly below expectation in emerging economies, with weaker trade and manufacturing activity lagging results in China particularly.
However, Mr Mackenzie said improving employment conditions and resilient income growth means the Chinese government has room to pursue reforms for consistent, long-term growth.
The rebalancing of the Chinese economy will also have a large impact on domestic demand, he stated, including the types of goods and services produced.
“We also see India and south-east Asia as significant sources of economic growth in the long term,” he explained.
According to the annual report, BHP Billiton took a 30 per cent hit to its net profits, which totalled $US10.9 billion (AU$11.6 billion) for the 2013 financial year.