BP profits fall, HSBC rises, Weir up | House prices slip
BP posted a second-quarter profit of $2.6 billion, down 70% from a year earlier, but still allowing the energy giant to boost its dividend by 10%. Underlying replacement cost profit missed expectations of $3.5 billion.
The company increased its dividend by 10% to 7.27 cents per share, the fourth hike since halving it in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic three years ago.
It also said it will repurchase $1.5 billion of its shares over the next three months.
HSBC said its profits more than doubled in the first half, propelled by soaring interest rates.
The Asia-focused bank said profit soared to $21.7bn (£16.9bn) for the first six months this year, compared to $9.2bn (£7.17bn) at the same time last year.
It has declared an interim dividend of 10 cents per share, as the firm’s chief executive Noel Quinn warned high inflation “remains a significant concern for many of our customers”.
He said: “In the UK, we have seen limited signs of stress in the mortgage book, although we are acutely aware of the day-to-day financial challenges that some of our customers face.
“With more mortgage customers due to roll off fixed-term deals in the next six months, and further rate rises expected, tougher times are ahead.”
He also warned of “many challenges in the global economy” and of particular “uncertainty” in the UK’s forward economic outlook.
Drinks giant Diageo beat full-year sales forecasts as consumers continued treating themselves to expensive scotch, whisky and tequila despite high prices.
House prices fall
House prices fell further last month as the property market suffered its worst slump since 2009.
Homeowners saw the value of their bricks and mortar drop by 3.8pc in the year to June, according to the Nationwide house price index.
It comes after the annual rate of house price growth contracted by 3.5pc in May from 2.7pc in April.
Food price growth falls
Food price growth has slowed for the third month in a row to the lowest level this year, suggesting the UK is through the worst of the cost of living crisis.
Mining technology group Weir said activity levels in its markets are strong. Customers are focused on maximising ore production and on improving the efficiency and sustainability of existing operations, which is driving demand for Weir’s spares and expendables and brownfield OE solutions.
“With a positive book-to-bill we enter the second half of the year with a record order book, and strong operating momentum,” it said.
Adjusted profit before tax for the half-year came in 32% higher at £188m and the dividend is raised by the same proportion to 17.8p (13.5p).
Jon Stanton, chief executive added: “In the first half of the year we performed well, winning market share, growing orders and executing strongly to deliver significant growth in revenue and operating profit. With a positive book-to-bill we enter the second half with a record order book, excellent operating momentum and high activity levels in our mining markets.
“After a strong performance in the first half we raise our full year revenue and profit guidance, and have confidence in meeting our 2023 margin and cash conversion targets.”
Roger White, one of the longest-serving CEOs of a listed company, will step down from his role at Irn-Bru maker AG Barr over the next 12 months.