BP returns to modest profit in Q3 after record Q2 loss

BP has bounced back from a record US$6.7 billion loss in the second quarter of the year to make $100 million in profit in the third quarter, as oil companies begin to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The British company’s latest financial results proved to be better than expected, although the eventual Q3 profit sum resembled just a fraction of the $2.3 billion reported in the same quarter last year.

BP’s return to the black arrives against a backdrop of slightly higher oil prices, with Brent crude averaging $42 a barrel in Q3, compared to an average of $30 in the previous quarter.

In response to the low oil price in the first half of the year, BP slashed the value of its assets which contributed to a net loss of $16.8 billion in Q2. However, the firm narrowed its net loss to $500 million by making no further write-offs.

BP said it would keep its dividend in place after announcing a ‘reset’ of its shareholder payout in August, cutting the prized dividend from 10.5 cents a share to 5.25 cents a share.

Earlier this year, the company announced it would be accelerating its plan to move away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy, while making 10,000 jobs redundant due to the impact of COVID-19.

“Having set out our new strategy in detail, our priority is execution and, despite a challenging environment, we are doing just that – performing while transforming,” said CEO Bernard Looney.