Castrol to give back pounds 280m
Tuesday 02 March 1999
The group will distribute the capital - pounds 30m more than expected - in May by way of a share split yielding 131p a share. Ordinary shares will be split into new ordinary and capital shares, and the capital shares will be cancelled for cash or loan notes.
Tim Stevenson, chief executive, said: "We took the view last spring that we had an extraordinarily strong balance sheet that from the shareholders' point of view was inefficient. The figure of pounds 280m was the right figure given our ongoing acquisition plans."
Burmah, which makes and distributes fuels and specialist chemicals, was hit last year by the economic troubles of South-east Asia, the strength of sterling and cost-cutting by the international oil majors.
But the company's results revealed that it had escaped the worst of the harm. While operating profits took a pounds 25m hit from the strength of sterling, profits rose by 1 per cent at constant exchange rates. Mr Stevenson said cost-cutting in Thailand and Malaysia had made up for falls in volumes.
"This demonstrates how resilient our businesses are, given that 1998 was a particularly difficult year in Asia-Pacific. And the results were a lot more robust than a lot of people thought they would be," he said.
The shares closed up 44p at 859p as the City welcomed the return of capital. The group is seeking permission to buy back further shares in the market later this year.
Full-year profits, down by 7 per cent at pounds 245.9m, were also better than analysts expected, and the dividend will rise to 43p a share, up by 6 per cent.
Burmah Castrol, no longer classified as an oil business, has also embarked on a major restructuring programme. Instead of geographical divisions, the group has created four separate businesses for consumer, industrial, commercial and marine markets.
The group will spend pounds 110m initially to achieve savings of pounds 20m to pounds 30m a year. It also plans bolt-on acquisitions to gain market share in Europe and the US.
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...