BP sinks to first loss in a decade on pandemic hit

BP sinks to first loss in a decade on pandemic hit

BP plunged to a $5.7 billion loss last year, its first in a decade, as the pandemic took a heavy toll on oil demand, with fuel consumption continuing to slide so far this year amid global travel restrictions.

For the last quarter of 2020, BP reported a profit of $115 million, falling short of analysts’ forecasts due to weak oil and gas sales and subdued trading, it said on Tuesday.

“These results reflect a truly tough quarter,” Chief Financial Officer Murray Auchincloss said in a statement.

At 0815 GMT, BP shares were down 3.2% at 258.9 pence.

“We expect renewed COVID-19 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.

Oil demand is nevertheless expected to recover in 2021, the company said.

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