Coronavirus: BP and Centrica announce spending cuts

3 April 2020

BP and Centrica have announced plans to slash spending amid the coronavirus outbreak.

BP said it would cut its budget by $4bn while Centrica said it would cut spending by £400m.

BP said it expected 2020 capital spend to be around $12bn, around 25% below initial expectations.

Bernard Looney, CEO at BP, said: “This may be the most brutal environment for oil and gas businesses in decades.

“But I am confident that we will come through it – we know what to do and we have done so before.”

Centrica said capital expenditure was set to be around £600m compared to previous expectations of around £800m.

“The company is taking steps to reduce cash expenditure in the customer-facing divisions,” said the company.

“These include reducing non-essential operating costs… and delaying over £100m of restructuring spend.”

Meanwhile the British Chamber of Commerce said almost half (44%) of UK firms were expecting to furlough at least half their workforce as a result of Covid-19.

The BCC’s Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker showed 62% of firms had less than three months’ cash in reserve and 18% had less than a month’s worth. The first poll took place between 25-27 March and covered over 600 businesses.

BCC director general Adam Marshall said: “The coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on business and economic activity across the UK.

“While businesses have welcomed the unprecedented size and scope of the government support packages… the majority of firms cannot wait weeks or months for help to arrive.”

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