02 August 2017
Two of the UK’s major companies cheered stock markets on Tuesday with half-year results that represented dramatic turnarounds from hefty losses reported this time last year.
Despite a second quarter hit after abandoning several exploration projects in Angola, BP reported better-than-expected profits for the first six months of 2017 of $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) compared to a $2 billion (£1.5 billion) loss for the same period last year. Meanwhile, aero engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce notched up a pre-tax, half-year profit of £1.94 billion, up from a £2.15 billion loss over the same period in 2016.
BP’s profits in Q2 were only $144 million (£109 million) compared to $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion) in the first quarter, mainly as a result of a $753 million loss from the Angola pull-out.
Bob Dudley, BP chief executive, said, “We continue to position BP for the new oil price environment, with a continued tight focus on costs, efficiency and discipline in capital spending.
“We delivered strong operational performance in the first half of 2017 and have considerable strategic momentum coming into the rest of the year and 2018, with rising production from our new upstream projects and marketing growth in the downstream.” The company, which recorded upstream production growth of ten per cent in Q2, said three new upstream projects had come online so far this year, while gas projects in India and Trinidad had also been sanctioned.