UK’s BP petrochemical Q4 earnings fall; pandemic restrictions to hit Q1 demand

Author: Pearl Bantillo

2021/02/02

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--BP’s petrochemical business posted a 10.8% year-on-year decline in fourth-quarter underlying replacement cost profit before interest and tax, with the full-year figure slumping 42% on poor demand amid the pandemic.

“The result for the full year reflects the impact of COVID-19 on demand, and a significantly weaker margin environment,” BP said in a statement.

in $ million Q4 2020 Q4 2019 % change Full-year 2020 Full-year 2019 % change
Group underlying replacement cost (RC) profit 115 2,567   -95.5 -5,690 9,990 -
Petrochemicals underlying RC profit before interest and tax 33 37        -10.8 233 402 -42

The British energy firm completed the divestment of its aromatics and acetyls businesses to INEOS for $5bn, with final payments totalling $1bn expected to be received in the first half of 2021.

For the first quarter of 2021, BP expects industry refining margins and utilisation to remain under pressure.

“In our marketing businesses we expect renewed COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] restrictions to have a greater impact on product demand, with January retail volumes down by around 20% year on year, compared with a decline of 11% in the fourth quarter,” BP said.

Visit the ICIS Coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.