Oil major BP said today that it was increasing its dividend for the first time in almost four years after reporting a jump in first-half profits.
UK-headquartered BP lifted the dividend 2.5% to 10.25 cents (7.81p) per share, the first rise since the third quarter of 2014.
The company also bought back 29 million ordinary shares in the first six months of 2018 at a cost of £150 million.
First-half pre-tax profits totalled £6.7 billion, up 190% year-on-year, while revenues increased to £111bn from £86bn.
The firm’s underlying replacement cost profits more than doubled to £4.1bn.
Highlights from the period under review include a deal to buy Chargemaster, UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging company, and an investment in ultra-fast charging battery developer StoreDot.
BP also committed to developing the Alligin and Vorlich are satellite fields in the UK North Sea. They are expected to produce 30,000 barrels gross of oil equivalent a day, starting in 2020.
Since the period ended, BP has announced the £8bn purchase of BHP Billiton’s US shale assets, first gas from the Shah Deniz 2 project in Azerbaijan, and a deal to buy 16.5% of the Clair field, west of Shetland, from ConocoPhillips.
BP chief executive Bob Dudley said: “We continue to make steady progress against our strategy and plans, delivering another quarter of strong operational and financial performance.
“We brought two more major projects online, high-graded our portfolio through acquisitions such as BHP’s US onshore assets and invested in the future with the creation of BP Chargemaster.
“Given this momentum and the strength of our financial frame, we are increasing our dividend for the first time in almost four years.
“This reflects not just our commitment to growing distributions to shareholder but our confidence in the future.”