Q1 Profits Down for BP, Fuchs


BP’s lubricants business posted a steep drop in profit for the first quarter, which it attributed primarily to Covid-19 impacts, while independent lubricants blender Fuchs Petrolub SE reported moderate declines in profits and sales, compared to 2019’s first quarter.


London-based BP’s lubricants business reported an underlying replacement cost profit before interest and tax of $167 million for the first quarter, dropping almost 39 percent from $272 million for the same period in 2019.

“The result reflects significantly weaker demand, primarily driven by the impact of covid-19, which has been particularly evident in China, where we saw demand fall by more than 50 percent for the quarter,” the company stated in its stock exchange announcement. “In recent weeks demand has begun to recover in China but has continued to fall in Europe, the United States and India, where volumes are currently down 50 to 90 percent, compared to the same period last year.”

Replacement cost profit or loss reflects the replacement cost of inventories sold in the period and is arrived at by excluding inventory holding gains and losses from profit or loss, according to BP’s stock exchange announcement.


Mannheim, Germany-headquartered Fuchs posted €51 million (U.S. $55.8 million) in earnings after tax for the quarter ending March 31, down 7 percent from €55 million in the year-earlier period. Sales revenue for the blender slid 4 percent to €616 million, down from €643 million a year earlier.

Revenue for Europe, Middle East and Africa was up slightly at €401 million from €400 million. Revenue in Asia-Pacific dropped to €146 million, down almost 15 percent from €171 million.

Revenue in North and South America was up 4 percent at €110 million. “Growth in North and South America continued due to acquisitions but did not offset the decline in sales revenues in the Asia-Pacific region due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic in China,” the company said in the release.

As a consequence of the pandemic, Fuchs said it also will be unable to meet its expectations for the full year as published in March. “The difficult market environment is set to deteriorate in the second quarter of the year, in which we are expecting a significant drop in earnings in the order of 50 percent,” the company said. “This represents a significant decline in earnings of around 30 percent year-on-year for the first half of the year.

“This statement is subject to great uncertainty. The effects of the crisis on supply chains, production and customer demand cannot currently be reliably estimated. A further or prolonged decline in demand due to the recession could have a negative impact on Fuchs’ economic development.”

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