Vitol Reports $13 Billion Profits in 2023
04.09.2024 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

April 09, 2024 [Nairametrics]- Vitol, the foremost independent commodity trader globally, has for the second consecutive year, secured profits surpassing its competitors, solidifying its status as a dominant force in the international energy markets.

 

Headquartered in London, the privately-owned conglomerate recorded a net profit of $13 billion in 2023, as reported by individuals familiar with the company’s financial performance.

According to a Financial Times report, although down from the record $15.1 billion Vitol made in 2022, the net profit figure is more than three times higher than the $4 billion it reported in 2021, illustrating how much Vitol has benefited from disruption to energy markets in the past two years.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 sent energy prices soaring as the west responded with sanctions, leading to one of the biggest shifts in global commodity flows in history. Price volatility eased in 2023, but commodity flows remain disrupted.

According to the report, Vitol does not publicly release its financial results, which are only available when its accounts are filed in the Netherlands later in the year.

The company declined to comment on the profit figure, which dwarfed its biggest competitors and was larger than some of the world’s biggest oil producers, including Italy’s Eni.

Lower commodity prices meant turnover fell to $400 billion from $505 billion in 2022 but the total volume of energy products traded by Vitol increased by 4% year-on-year, last month’s statement said.

The growth was driven by gas and liquefied natural gas volumes, which grew by 19% and 24% respectively. The volume of oil and refined petroleum products that the group traded remained roughly flat at 7.3 million barrels per day.

Vitol’s closest rival Trafigura made net profits of $7.2 billion in its last financial year, which ended in September, while fellow privately held energy trader Gunvor made $1.3 billion, it said last week.

Bumper payout

The report noted that the second consecutive blockbuster year will mean another bumper payout for Vitol’s approximately 450 senior partners spread across the trading hubs in London, Geneva, Singapore and Houston.

It will also add to the cash pile Vitol has available to expand the business. In 2022 the group doubled its shareholder equity to $25.8 billion, according to its last set of accounts.

Vitol has already begun spending some of the windfall, launching in January a €1.7 billion bid to acquire Italy’s Saras, which owns the biggest single refinery in the Mediterranean on Sardinia. Last year its Turkish subsidiary Petrol Ofisi agreed to acquire BP’s downstream business in Turkey. On completion, Vitol will have invested in about 9,000 petrol stations worldwide, including 3,900 it owns in Africa through Vivo Energy.

In the UK, Vitol owns and operates five power plants through its partially owned subsidiary VPI, making it a bigger power generator than Centrica. VPI also has three more power facilities being built in the region — two in the UK and one in Ireland.

 

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