BP posts £6.9bn profit as cost of living crisis set to worsen dramatically

ENERGY giant BP has posted eye-popping £6.9billion profits as ordinary families across the country fear another expected rise in their utility bills.

Investors in the oil company have been encouraged by the company reaping the benefits of soaring fuel prices as it says its profits hit a 14-year high in the second quarter.

In the three months to June 30, BP posted profits about £4.6bn more than a year ago.

We told yesterday how a report by Legal and General found that more than eight million people across the UK feared they had ‘nothing left’ to cut, as almost half of Scots feared they could not afford their current lifestyle in the near future.

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While most are tightening their belts and looking to save money when energy bills rise again in October – which are expected to reach an annual cost of £3,615 next year, market analysts say. energy – BP investors benefited from a 10% increase in the company’s shareholding. distribution of dividends.

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Mark Ruskell, environmental spokesman for the Scottish Greens, called the figures “obscene” and said “things can’t go on like this”.

He added: “We need real and immediate action from the Treasury before costs rise again.

“That means a windfall tax to bring real relief to people here and now, but it also means major investment in renewables so we can finally break the link between fossil fuel prices and household bills. .”

It comes after rivals Shell and Centrica, owner of British Gas, revealed bumper results last week.

BP also warned that there should be no slackening in energy prices over the summer, forecasting crude oil and gas prices to remain high in the third quarter due to the supply disruption. from Russia.

The war in Ukraine forced the company to shed its substantial stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft, costing it a hit of around £19.9bn.

The government is introducing a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies, but it has been criticized for giving strong incentives to allow companies to invest in oil and gas, when there are no incentives taxes in the green investment policy.

BP chief executive Bernard Looney insisted the group continued to “perform while transforming”.

He said: “Our people continued to work hard throughout the quarter to help solve the energy trilemma: secure, affordable and low-carbon energy.

“We do this by providing the oil and gas the world needs today, while investing to accelerate the energy transition.

Household bills are set to rise further in January next year to £3,615, according to energy experts Cornwall Insight.

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Craig Lowrey, the firm’s senior consultant, said the government’s pledged support for households “would only scratch the surface”.

On Friday, Richard Neudegg, regulatory director at Uswitch, called for the £400 to be raised to at least £600 and for payments to vulnerable households to be increased from £650 to £950.

Last month, Charity National Energy Action predicted that if the average bill reached £3,250 a year, 8.2 million UK households would be in energy poverty, or one in three.