The world's largest miner by market value delivered a net profit result of US$23.64bn – up 85.9% from the year before.

BHP said it expected robust demand for commodities in the short and medium term, but cautioned over cost increases that tend to lag the commodity price cycle.

However, fixed-asset investment in China, a major market, remained resilient, the Melbourne-based company said, adding that the impact of Beijing's moves to tighten monetary policy were yet to be felt fully.

Revenue rose 36% to US$71.74bn from US$52.8bn.

Stripping out one-time items, underlying earnings before interest and tax in the latest year was US$31.98bn, up 62%.

BHP said that the devaluation of the US dollar and inflation had reduced underlying earnings by US$3.2bn.

Projects set to come on stream in 2012 include its 1.1Mt/y Worsley alumina refinery expansion in Australia which will raise capacity to 4.6Mt/y.

The ramp up of the Alumar refinery, Brazil contributed to a 7% increase in total alumina production for the 2011 financial year. Metal production remained largely unchanged with all operations running at or close to technical capacity.

Underlying EBIT was US$266M, a decrease of US$140M or 34% compared with the corresponding period.

Higher prices for aluminium had a favourable impact of US$559M but were offset by a US$519M increase in costs associated with the devaluation of the US dollar, inflation and rising raw material and energy costs.