Global miner BHP Billiton on Wednesday delivered Australia\'s biggest ever annual profit, generating earnings of 23.6 billion U.S. dollars that have beaten market expectations. The world\'s mining giant said net profit for the 12 months to June 30, 2011 was up 85.9 percent compared to the previous year. Revenue increased 35.9 percent to 71.73 billion U.S. dollars during the 12 months, BHP Billiton said on Wednesday. Analysts expected the company to report a full-year profit of 22 billion U.S. dollars. BHP Billiton also reported record underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), up 51 percent to 37.1 billion U.S. dollars. The mining giant said its strategic focus on large, low cost and expandable assets had once again delivered record financial performance and returns. However, it warned that it was not immune to tight labor and raw materials markets, which were currently presenting challenges for the miner and its peers. \"Costs tend to lag the commodity price cycle as consumable, labor and contractor costs are broadly correlated with the mining industry\'s level of activity,\" the company said in a statement. Despite facing the challenges, BHP Billiton said, \"We expect robust demand in the short and medium term, supported by commodities intensive emerging economic growth.\" \"Over the longer term, we expect strong demand for our core commodities to be underpinned by the industrialization and urbanization of China, India and other emerging economies,\" it said.