BP profits halve as new boss promises bumper buyback scheme


BP HAS revealed profits have halved to $13.8b (£10.99b), from 2022’s record-breaking figure.

Lower oil prices took their toll as profits fell 49.6%, down from the record $27.7b (£23.05b) made in 2022.

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The energy giant also announced a bumper buyback scheme, with the company’s new boss Murray Auchincloss committing to $3.5b (£2.79b) in the first six months of next year, and $14b (£11.15b) overall by the end of the next financial year.

“Looking back, 2023 was a year of strong operational performance with real momentum in delivery right across the business,” said Auchincloss.

“And as we look ahead, our destination remains unchanged – from IOC to IEC – focused on growing the value of BP. 

“We are confident in our strategy, on delivering as a simpler, more focused and higher-value company, and committed to growing long-term value for our shareholders.”

There is no breakdown of how much profit BP has made in the UK, however figures show that the Energy Profits Levy (EPL) – also known as the windfall tax – has so far cost the company around £1.3b.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has today repeated its call for the EPL to be scrapped.

Russell Borthwick, chief executive at Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Since it was put in in 2022, and then further increased, this ill-thought-through tax raid has achieved little other than to shatter confidence in the sector, cost jobs, caused investment to be cancelled or driven overseas and further threatens our ability to deliver energy transition. 

“Prices have already returned to historically normal levels, so there are no windfall profits to tax. 

“Put simply, the EPL must go.

“A punitive tax rate of 75% – one of the highest in the world – remains an ongoing threat to a world leading sector that remains the jewel in the UK’s industrial crown. 

“Get the fiscal conditions right however and the prize could be billions of pounds worth of investment and thousands of new jobs being created in the North Sea.”

The firm revealed strong final quarterly results of the year as underlying replacement cost profit – BP’s preferred earning measure – was $2.99b (£2.38b), ahead of forecasts of $2b (£1.59b).

That’s a drop from the $4.81b (£3.83b) underlying replacement cost profit reported in the same period in 2022.

Net debt has also dropped to $20.91b (£16.65), its lowest level in a decade.

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