Brian Robins, 23 February 2016

Fuel retailer and processor Caltex is to launch a $270 million off-market share buyback, along with a dividend hike, as it begins to pass on the surge in profits following the closure of its Kurnell refinery.

The buyback, which had been expected by analysts, followed a lift in the 2015 net profit to $522 million in 2015, from just $20 million a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $20 billion from $23.9 billion a year earlier, due to the decline in the oil price.

Caltex closed its Kurnell refinery 18 months ago. It has since been converted into a fuel import terminal.

Most analysts’ focus was on the size of the share buyback, since Caltex had signalled a year ago that a share buyback was likely unless it made a large acquisition.

Caltex said it expected to complete the buyback in the second quarter.

The final dividend has been raised to 70¢, which takes the annual dividend to 117¢ a share, it said, up from the 70¢ a share annual payout a year earlier.

Earnings a share hit 193¢, up from 7¢ a year earlier.

Extracted in full from the Sydney Morning Herald.