Imperial Oil reports first quarter profit up from year ago, increases dividend

CALGARY _ Imperial Oil Ltd. raised its dividend as it reported its first-quarter profit improved compared with a year ago.

The company said it would pay a dividend of 19 cents in its second quarter, up from an earlier payment to shareholders of 16 cents.

The increase came as Imperial reported it earned $516 million or 62 cents per share, up from $333 million or 39 cents per share a year ago. Revenue totalled $7.9 billion, up from nearly $7.2 billion.

Imperial says its upstream business, which includes its oilsands operations, lost $44 million compared with a loss of $86 million a year ago.

Meanwhile, its downstream operations, which includes its refining business, earned $521 million, up from $380 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Imperial’s chemical business earned $73 million in the quarter, up from $45 million in the same quarter last year.