LONDON - BP said on Tuesday it will increase its dividend by 4% and ramp up share buybacks after second-quarter profit rose to $2.8 billion on the back of higher oil and gas prices, beating expectations.
London-based BP joins rivals including Royal Dutch Shell, TotalEnergies and Chevron to boost shareholder returns in a sign of the sector's recovery from a bruising year that saw energy demand plummet due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BP increased its dividend to 5.46 cents after it was halved to 5.25 cents in July 2020 for the first time in a decade in the wake of the pandemic slump.
BP also plans to repurchase $1.4 billion in the coming months after generating surplus cash of $2.4 billion in the first half of the year, it said.
BP's underlying replacement cost profit, the company's definition of net earnings, reached $2.8 billion in the second quarter, compared with analysts' expectations for a $2.15 billion profit.
That compares with $2.63 billion in profit in the first quarter of the year and a loss of $6.68 billion a year earlier when it took large non-cash charges.
(Reporting by Ron Bousso, editing by Louise Heavens) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 (0) 2075422161; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))