BP sees profits more than double

BP has seen profits more than double to 12.7 billion US dollars (£9.7 billion) for 2018, following higher oil prices and after it launched a raft of new projects.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 08:11 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:34 pm
Library image of a BP petrol station, as the energy giant has seen profits more than double to 12.7 billion US dollars (£9.7 billion) for 2018, following higher oil prices and after it launched a raft of new projects. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday February 5, 2019. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The energy giant’s underlying replacement cost profit - BP’s preferred income measure - surged from 6.2 billion US dollars (£4.8 billion) in 2017.

Its fourth quarter underlying earnings also jumped higher despite oil prices easing back at the end of last year, to 3.5 billion US dollars (£2.7 billion) against 2.1 billion US dollars (£1.6 billion) a year earlier.

The FTSE 100 stalwart has been riding the wave of a rebound in the cost of crude in recent years, as has rival Royal Dutch Shell, which last week reported a 36% jump in annual profits.

But BP has also been embarking on a number of new projects, which has been boosting production.

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Bob Dudley, group chief executive of BP, said: “We now have a powerful track record of safe and reliable performance, efficient execution and capital discipline.

He added: “Our strategy is clearly working and will serve the company and our shareholders well through the energy transition.”

BP’s annual figures were higher than expected for both the full year and the fourth quarter.

On a reported basis, full-year profit rose to 10 billion US dollars (£7.7 billion) while fourth-quarter results showed it swinging to a 2.7 billion US dollar (£2.1 billion) profit from a 583 million US dollar (£447 million) loss a year earlier.

The group said payments relating to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico fatal oil spill tragedy stood at 3.2 billion US dollars (£2.5 billion) in 2018.

BP recently announced plans to pump 100,000 more barrels of oil a day in the region, where it sparked one of the world’s biggest environmental disasters nearly nine years ago.

Full-year results also showed it made divestments of 3.5 billion US dollars (£2.7 billion) of assets and the group announced plans to complete more than 10 billion US dollars (£7.7 billion) over the next two years.

BP said it expects recent major projects to ramp up production in 2019.

It confirmed fourth-quarter shareholder dividend payments of 10.25 cents (7.85p) a share, up 2.5% on a year earlier.