Aug 3, 2021

BP launches $1.4bn cash return to shareholders as profits beat expectations

BP raised its dividend and launched a $1.4bn cash return after delivering quarterly results that beat expectations. The energy major, whose chief executive Bernard Looney has been leading a pivot towards renewable energy, said underlying profit on a replacement cost basis rose to $2.8bn in the second quarter, surpassing expectations for around $2.2bn. Looney said the company was raising its dividend by 4 per cent and would have the "Capacity" to grow it by a similar amount each year through 2025. "On average at around $60 a barrel, we expect to be able to deliver buybacks of around $1bn per quarter and to have capacity for an annual increase in the dividend of around 4 per cent through 2025," he said. The emerging markets-focused bank delivered a pre-tax profit of $1.15bn in the second quarter, up 55 per cent on the same period last year and beating consensus analyst estimates of $1.1bn. StanChart also announced a $250m share buyback and said it would pay an interim dividend of 3 cents per share, totalling $94m. Greggs said the strength of its recent performance suggested full-year profit will be slightly ahead of its previous expectation. The franchise owner reported system sales up 19.6 per cent to £752.3m and an underlying pre-tax profit up 27.7 per cent to £60.8m in the first half.

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