BP’s Castrol saw profit rise in the fourth quarter to the highest in more than a year on the back of lower costs and rising sales volumes.
Castrol’s underlying replacement cost profit of $213mn in the fourth quarter of last year rose from $185mn during the previous three months to the highest since first-half 2022.
Profit of $730mn in 2023 rose from $700mn the previous year. It was still the second lowest in at least eight years.
Global lubricant blenders’ profit and margins recovered in 2023 amid steadier sales and easing cost pressures from key raw materials like base oils.
Europe’s Group III base oils prices peaked at record-high levels early in the second quarter of 2023, ICIS data showed.
They then slumped by more than 30pc over the rest of the year to the lowest levels since mid-2021.
Castrol’s profit also got a boost from higher volumes in the fourth quarter of the year.
The higher volumes partly reflected a lower base period in the fourth quarter of 2022, when Castrol’s results continued to be impacted by Covid-related restrictions, especially in China.