Ampol posts record annual earnings, dividends soar

CEO Matt Halliday said, “2022 has been another very successful year for Ampol as the integrated supply chain combined to deliver a record financial result and supported the declaration of record shareholder dividends”.

“We remain disciplined with our allocation of capital, prioritising shareholder returns as we strive to get the balance right between core business optimisation and targeted investment in the energy transition to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

Ampol’s refinery business was a major driver for the surging revenues. Oil margins have soared in the last two years, which have helped turn the fortunes of Ampol and Viva Energy.

In May 2021, the Morrison government said it would pay Ampol and Viva Energy to keep producing amid heightened fears about Australia’s energy security as they struggled against larger Asian refineries and COVID-19 lockdowns.

Australia’s refining capacity has been falling for more than a decade and the pandemic worsened the situation. It severely reduced the demand for jet fuel, cut the use of petrol and diesel, and drove down refining margins.

The scheme pays Ampol and Viva Energy when refining margins are weak, and the subsidies aided both in the short term before a rapid turnaround in the market made them ineligible.

Ampol and Viva have for months not qualified for the government subsidies, and it expects continued strong margins throughout 2023. Margins at its Lytton refinery in January totalled $US18.4, well above historical averages

Ampol said geopolitical factors including Russian sanctions and China product export decisions are likely to continue influencing crude and refined product markets during 2023 and in the medium term.