The British hydrocarbons giant BP announced a net profit of 4.7 billion dollars in the first quarter on Tuesday, thanks to the recovery in oil prices and after registering huge losses in 2020.
Last year, the group recorded more than $ 20 billion in losses – $ 4.4 billion in the first quarter of 2020 – due to falling oil demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But, since then, prices have recovered due to the progressive reopening of the economies. BP managed to return to positive territory in the fourth quarter of that year.
Crude prices, which were briefly in negative territory in April 2020, are now above $ 60.
This rise is explained by the hopes of an economic recovery thanks to the vaccination campaigns, as well as by the efforts of the oil producing countries to reduce their production.
“Thanks to the good results of our activities and the context of recovery in prices, we generated a lot of cash and met our net debt targets one year ahead of schedule,” up to $ 35 billion, congratulated Bernard Looney, CEO of BP in a statement.
The group will take advantage of the situation in the second quarter to reward its shareholders after being forced to reduce the amount of dividends in 2020.
Its net profit without exceptional items, which serves as a benchmark for the market and gives a better idea of its operating performance, rose by far to $ 2.6 billion.
BP also takes advantage of a cost reduction exercise announced last year that should save it 2,500 million this year and that goes through the elimination of 15% of its workforce (10,000 jobs) in the world.
In the whole of 2021, the British giant foresees an increase in the demand for oil, especially in the United States and China, thanks to vaccination and the lifting of restrictions.
The group also continued its asset sale program in the first quarter, with 4.8 billion dollars, which is part of a plan to reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
jbo / clp / tjc / zm