BP `self-help' yields record pounds 2.6bn profit
Wednesday 12 February 1997
However the results failed to grab the enthusiasm of investors, who had expected a stronger increase in the dividend payout in the last three months of 1996. The dividend rose by 0.25p to 5.25p compared with the previous quarter.
BP shares were marked down sharply, ending 27p lower at 694p. Its annual dividend increased by 28 per cent to 19.5p, reflecting the longer-term recovery in the oil giant's fortunes.
John Browne, chief executive, said BP had achieved efficiency savings and productivity gains worth $600m (pounds 375m) in just 12 months. The improvement meant the group had more than exceeded its internal targets in the push to reduce costs by $1.5bn over three years.
Mr Browne said two-thirds of BP's profits rise last year had been achieved through these cost savings, with the remaining third from the boost to oil prices.
Last autumn the price of Brent crude briefly went through the $25 barrier for the first time since the 1990 Gulf War. In the last quarter of 1996 BP's average oil selling price was $23.1, up from $17 during the same period in 1995.
However, Sir David Simon, BP chairman, was quick to dampen speculation of another "30 per cent year" in 1997. He said: "The board fully recognises you can't continue to grow at those sort of levels ... the board doesn't expect that to be repeated every year."
The oil price boost helped profits from oil exploration to rise by 41 per cent to pounds 814m in the last quarter of last year. Quarterly earnings from refining and marketing improved slightly to pounds 163m, as profit margins recovered following last year's petrol price wars.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassingly brilliant leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
iJobs Money & Business
£38000 - £42000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: Required skills:Previo...
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...