BP makes a comeback with a net annual profit of US$15.2 billion and boosts its share buyback program.

ByYasmeeta Oon

Feb 8, 2024

London, UK – In a stunning reversal of fortunes, British energy giant BP announced on Tuesday that it had rebounded into vast profitability in 2023, marking a remarkable turnaround from the prior year’s substantial loss. Despite facing challenges such as lower refining margins and fluctuating oil prices, BP reported a profit after taxation of a staggering US$15.2 billion, a significant increase from the net loss of US$2.5 billion it incurred in 2022. This dramatic shift in financial performance can be attributed to several factors, including the company’s exit from Russia following Moscow’s Ukraine invasion and a strategic focus on shareholder value.

Financial Resurgence

BP’s resurgence in 2023 is nothing short of extraordinary. The previous year had seen the company grappling with a net loss of US$2.5 billion due to a massive charge of US$24 billion related to its exit from Russian energy group Rosneft. However, the 2023 financial results reveal a remarkable recovery, with profits reaching unprecedented levels.

Key Financial Highlights

Here are some key financial highlights from BP’s annual results for 2023:

  • Profit After Taxation: Surged to US$15.2 billion, compared to a net loss of US$2.5 billion in 2022.
  • Underlying Profit: Excluding exceptional items, reached US$13.8 billion, despite challenges posed by lower refining margins and oil prices.
  • Share Buybacks: BP delighted investors by announcing US$1.75 billion in buybacks for the fourth quarter of 2023, with plans for an additional US$3.5 billion for the first half of 2024. The company aims to buy back at least US$14 billion by 2025.
  • Dividends: The company also announced an increase in shareholder dividends, underlining its commitment to delivering value to shareholders.

Leadership Changes

BP’s journey to recovery in 2023 was marked by significant leadership changes. Veteran employee Murray Auchincloss was appointed as Chief Executive after a period as interim boss following the departure of predecessor Bernard Looney. Auchincloss’s appointment came after Looney’s resignation and subsequent termination over his failure to disclose past relationships with colleagues.

In a statement, Auchincloss expressed confidence in the company’s future, stating, “Looking back, 2023 was a year of strong operational performance with real momentum in delivery right across the business.”

Commitment to Energy Transition

Amidst calls from activist investment fund Bluebell Capital to scale back its clean energy ambitions, BP reiterated its commitment to its energy transition strategy. While Bluebell Capital urged BP to focus on investments in clean energy like biofuels and hydrogen, BP emphasized its dedication to becoming an integrated energy company, shifting away from being an international oil company.

“As we look ahead, our destination remains unchanged — from international oil company to integrated energy company — focused on growing the value of BP,” added Auchincloss. “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.”

BP’s impressive financial turnaround in 2023, despite facing significant challenges, reflects its resilience and commitment to delivering value to shareholders. The company’s strategic focus on buybacks and dividends, along with its dedication to its energy transition strategy, positions BP for a promising future in the evolving energy landscape.

BP’s Financial Performance (2023 vs. 2022)

Profit After TaxationUS$15.2 billionUS$-2.5 billion
Underlying ProfitUS$13.8 billionUS$27.7 billion
Share BuybacksUS$1.75 billion

Bullet Points

  • BP’s profit after taxation soared to US$15.2 billion in 2023, a remarkable recovery from a net loss of US$2.5 billion in 2022.
  • Despite facing challenges such as lower refining margins and oil prices, BP’s underlying profit reached US$13.8 billion.
  • The company announced US$1.75 billion in share buybacks for Q4 2023 and plans for an additional US$3.5 billion in H1 2024, aiming for at least US$14 billion in buybacks by 2025.
  • BP’s leadership transition saw Murray Auchincloss taking over as Chief Executive following the resignation and termination of predecessor Bernard Looney.
  • BP remains committed to its energy transition strategy, focusing on becoming an integrated energy company.

This article showcases BP’s remarkable financial turnaround and its determination to thrive in a changing energy landscape, reaffirming its commitment to shareholders and sustainability.

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.