大型石油公司聚焦零售网络的发展

中国石化新闻网 2020-12-07

    中国石化新闻网讯 据路透社12月3日报道,对于石油巨头们来说,咖啡和巧克力可能成为新的“黑色黄金”。在投资者和各国政府要求减排的压力下,欧洲主要石油公司正在向可再生能源领域投入数十亿美元,但却难以制定出能够确保股东预期回报的商业计划。不过,欧洲的大型石油公司还有另一张好牌可打,即利用其庞大的全球加油站网络。

    英国石油(BP)、荷兰皇家壳牌(Royal Dutch Shell)和道达尔(Total)都表示,它们正押注于其零售网络的食品杂货和零食销售会带来更高的利润。在电力时代,零售网络仍将是汽车驾驶者的一个重要停靠港。

    在加油站付钱加满油可能只需要几分钟,但即使是使用最快的电动汽车充电器,顾客也至少有10到15分钟的时间可以用来打发,这足够用来喝杯咖啡和购物了。

    尽管大型石油公司所谓的营销业务,类似燃油、润滑油、杂货和餐点的零售,在利润中所占比例通常低于油气销售,但它们的利润率通常较高。

    值得一提的是,石油公司正在进入的可再生能源和电力行业的投资回报率往往较低,这就使得像BP和壳牌这样的公司在低碳经济中寻找提高整体回报率的方法变得非常重要。

    正因为如此,壳牌计划到2025年将其零售网络扩大20%以上,达到5.5万个网点。英国石油公司的目标是到2030年将其加油站网络增加近50%,达到29000个,并将其电动汽车充电网络增加到70000个。与此同时,道达尔计划到2025年将其在欧洲的电动汽车充电网络从目前的1.8万个增加到15万个。

    世界上最大的两家食品连锁企业赛百味和麦当劳的门店数量都少于壳牌。美国零售业巨头沃尔玛是全球销售额最大的零售商,在全球拥有11510家门店。

    英国石油(BP)和壳牌(Shell)也在押注零售网络的搭建,与数千万客户的日常接触将使其获得大量数据,可以用于为世界各地的小城镇、城市甚至特定加油站的购物者提供量身定做的服务。

    虽然目前电动汽车的数量相对较少,但在今年新冠肺炎疫情实行出行限制的期间,石油公司已经对其零售网络的潜力有所了解。随着交通限制的实施,燃油销售大幅下滑,但人们仍会前往附近的便利店加油站,囤积日常必需品。

    事实上,壳牌的零售部门拥有世界上最大的加油站网络,在截至9月30日的三个月里,取得了有史以来最好的季度记录,调整后的收益为16亿美元。

    到2020年为止,壳牌的市场营销部门贡献了其总收益的60%,而传统上,这部分收益主要由其上游石油和综合天然气业务所主导。壳牌的炼油、化工和营销主管Huibert Vigeveno表示,公司每天都会举行电话会议,了解客户对从机油到羊角面包等各种产品的偏好,并不断进行调整。逾80个国家的45000个零售网点的信息,让我们学得很快。今年1月份,我们看到了中国的情况以及消费者的行为偏好。我们立即与我们开展业务的80个国家分享了这一信息。”此外,壳牌的营销利润还得益于利润率较高的优质燃料和润滑油的强劲销售。

    英国石油(BP)和道达尔(Total)也得益于在疫情爆发的那几个月零售部门的增长,帮助弥补了燃油销售下降带来的收入缺口,并强化了它们迅速向便利店和电动汽车充电领域扩张的计划。

    BP客户和产品主管艾玛•德莱尼(Emma Delaney)表示:“在新冠肺炎疫情期间,我们看到人们在网上购物,并在像我们这样的本地商店充值的偏好,而这也是一个长期趋势。”

    此前,道达尔首席财务官Jean-Pierre Sbraire表示,第三季欧洲零售销售回到了疫情爆发前的水平,尽管燃料销售仍然非常疲弱。

    德莱尼表示,自2015年以来,BP便利店的利润率每年增长8%,2019年的毛利率超过10亿美元,该公司计划到2030年将这一数字翻一番。2019年,英国石油公司的便利和移动业务(包括燃料和润滑油销售以及门店)的投资回报率,或者说平均资本使用回报率超过了20%。

    壳牌在其营销部门的投资回报率也超过了20%,该部门包括零售、企业对企业的燃料销售和润滑油销售。Vigeeno表示,预计到2025年以后,该部门的年增长率将达到6%至7%。

    波士顿咨询集团的Mirko Rubeis表示:“零售市场的波动性非常低,但是利润很高。”

    自BP等石油巨头今年宣布计划削减化石燃料产量、加大对风能和太阳能等低碳能源的投资以来,投资回报率一直是人们关注的焦点。壳牌也在希望加快向低碳能源转型,并将于2021年2月宣布其长期转型战略。

    虽然大型石油公司的石油投资回报率通常为15%左右,但低碳电力的回报率预计会低得多,投资者正在考虑如何才能实现这个目标。

    谈到零售,这里要强调的一点是,燃料销售的利润率已经低于便利店,便利店通常与知名杂货品牌合作,这也是进军以超市为主的地区的原因之一。

    重新定义“方便”一词,不仅仅是关于燃料的。当然,通过应用程序等燃油费用快捷支付来实现“方便”是可行的,但忙碌的客户想要的不仅仅是燃油。因此,就要为顾客烘焙糕点、煮咖啡、送包裹。

    英国石油与英国玛莎百货(Marks & Spencer)合作,壳牌公司与英国名厨杰米•奥利弗(Jamie Oliver)合作,提供一系列熟食。在美国,英国石油与ampm食品饮料连锁店合作。

    Vigeeno表示,在疫情爆发的几个月里,通过Deliveroo和Uber Eats等在线应用送货上门,壳牌数百家便利店的销售也得到了支持。

    BP估计,在加油站光顾玛莎百货的顾客中,有一半以上只是为了方便购物。与此同时,Vigeveno表示,壳牌在欧洲西北部的销售中有一半是非燃料产品。

    即使在零售业的推动下,电力公司、英国的特易购(Tesco)或法国的家乐福(Carrefour)等超市巨头以及电动汽车充电行业的新进入者之间的激烈竞争,也可能在未来缩小利润率。

    随着石油消费可能已经接近峰值,能源公司将需要从根本上重新考虑他们的零售业务,以保持盈利。为了成功适应新的市场形势,燃料零售商必须拥有一种新的心态。对业务进行适度的改变或调整是不够的,积累的客户数据可能才是至关重要的。

    BP的目标是在未来十年将其零售业务的日均“客户接触点”增加一倍,达到2000万,而壳牌的目标是到2025年将其零售业务的日均“客户接触点”从目前的3000万增加到4000万。

    Rubeis指出:“零售是油气价值链中唯一能让你更接近客户的一环。如果你想洞察未来的移动趋势,能源转型等等,这是唯一可以给你数据的东西——客户数据将是新的‘石油’。”

    王佳晶 摘译自 路透社

    原文如下:

    The new black gold? Big Oil bets on retail networks in an electric era

    For Big Oil, coffee and chocolate could be the new black gold.

    Under pressure from investors and governments alike to cut emissions, major European oil companies are ploughing billions into renewable energy but are struggling to craft business plans that promise the returns shareholders have come to expect.

    Europe’s big oil firms, however, have another card to play: their vast global networks of filling stations.

    BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total all say they are betting on higher profits from sales of groceries and snacks at their retail networks, which will still be an essential port of call for motorists in an electric era.

    Paying at the pump to fill up with petrol may only take a few minutes, but even with the fastest electric vehicle (EV) chargers, customers would have at least 10 to 15 minutes to kill - plenty of time to grab a coffee and do some shopping.

    While the so-called marketing operations of big oil firms - retail sales of fuel, lubricants, groceries and TV dinners - usually contribute a smaller slice of profits than oil and gas production, they typically have higher margins.

    The renewable energy and power businesses oil companies are moving into, however, tend to have lower returns on investment, making it important for firms such as BP and Shell to find ways to boost their overall returns in low-carbon economies.

    That’s why Shell plans to expand its retail network by more than 20% to 55,000 sites worldwide by 2025. BP aims to increase its network of filling stations by nearly 50% to 29,000 by 2030 and boost its EV charging network to 70,000 points.

    Total, meanwhile, is planning to increase its EV charging network in Europe to 150,000 points by 2025 from 18,000 now.

    Subway and McDonald’s, the world’s two biggest food chains, both have fewer outlets than Shell. U.S. giant Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer by sales, has 11,510 stores globally.

    BP and Shell are also betting that daily contact with tens of millions of customers will give it masses of data that it can use to tailor sales for shoppers in small towns, cities or even specific petrol stations throughout the world.

    While there are relatively few electric cars on the road now, oil companies have already had a glimpse of the potential of their retail networks during coronavirus lockdowns this year.

    Fuel sales slumped as travel restrictions kicked in, but people still nipped to nearby petrol stations with convenience stores to stock up on daily necessities.

    In fact, Shell’s retail division, known as “marketing”, which has the world’s biggest network of filling stations, had its best quarter on record in the three months to Sept. 30, bringing in $1.6 billion in adjusted earnings.

    So far in 2020, Shell’s marketing division has contributed 60% of its overall earnings, which are traditionally dominated by its upstream oil and integrated gas businesses.

    Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s head of refining, chemicals and marketing, said the company holds a daily call to check on customer preferences for anything from engine oil to croissants so it can constantly adapt.

    “Having 45,000 retail sites over more than 80 countries allowed us to learn very fast,” he told Reuters.

    “It started in January, when we saw what was happening in China and how consumers were behaving. And we shared that immediately with all the 80 countries in which we operate.”

    Shell’s marketing profits were also helped by strong sales of premium fuels, which have higher margins, and lubricants.

    BP and Total benefited from a boost at their retail divisions during the pandemic months too, helping to plug revenue shortfalls from lower fuel sales and reinforce their plans to expand rapidly into convenience stores and EV charging.

    “We saw during the pandemic people shopping online and topping up in local stores like ours, but it’s a long-term trend, too,” said Emma Delaney, BP head of customers and products.

    Total’s Chief Financial Officer Jean-Pierre Sbraire told investors in October that retail sales in Europe were back at pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter, even though fuel sales remained very weak.

    LOW VOLATILITY

    BP’s profit margins from convenience stores have risen 8% a year since 2015 and they delivered a gross margin of more than $1 billion in 2019, a figure the company aims to more than double by 2030, Delaney told Reuters.

    BP’s return on investment - or the return on average capital employed - at its convenience and mobility business, which includes sales of fuel and lubricants as well as its stores, was more than 20% in 2019.

    Shell too had a return on investment of over 20% at its marketing division, which includes retail, business-to-business fuel sales and lubricants, and Vigeveno said it expects the business to grow 6% to 7% a year until 2025 and beyond.

    "The volatility in retail is very low ... but the margin is high," said Mirko Rubeis of the Boston Consulting Group.

    Return on investment has been in the spotlight since oil majors such as BP announced this year that it plans to cut its fossil fuel production and invest more heavily in low-carbon energy sources such as wind and solar power.

    Shell is also looking to accelerate its shift towards low-carbon energy and is due to announce its long-term transition strategy in February.

    While big oil firms typically target a return on oil investments of about 15%, returns on low-carbon electricity are expected to be far lower and investors are wondering how they will square the circle.

    IS DATA THE NEW OIL?

    When it comes to retail, fuel sales already produce lower profit margins than convenience stores sales, which are often in partnership with well-known grocery brands, and that’s one of the reasons for the push into areas dominated by supermarkets.

    “Redefining convenience is about much more than fuel. Sure, convenient fuel payment via our app works, but customers on the go want much more than fuel. And so we bake pastries, brew coffee, package deliveries for customers,” Delaney said.

    BP works with Marks & Spencer in Britain while Shell has a partnership with British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to offer a range of deli food. In the United States, BP has teamed up with food and drink outlet ampm.

    During the months of the pandemic, convenience sales at hundreds of sites were also helped by deliveries to homes using online apps such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats, Vigeveno said.

    BP estimates that more than half the customers who visit Marks & Spencer at its filling stations come for convenience shopping only. Shell’s Vigeveno, meanwhile, said half of their sales in northwest Europe were non-fuel.

    Even with a retail push, fierce competition among power companies, supermarket giants such as Tesco in Britain or Carrefour in France and new entrants in the EV charging sector could also narrow profit margins in the future.

    And with oil consumption possibly already near its peak, energy companies will need to radically rethink their retail businesses to keep making money.

    “To successfully adapt, fuel retailers must embrace a new mindset. Making modest changes or tweaks to the business will not suffice,” said Boston Consulting Group’s Rubeis, adding that the customer data they amass could be crucial.

    BP aims to double the daily number of “customer touchpoints” in its retail business over the next decade to 20 million while Shell is aiming for 40 million by 2025 from 30 million now.

    “Retail is the only thing in the oil and gas value chain that gets you closer to the customer. If you want to have insight into the future trends of mobility, energy transition and so on, that’s the only thing that can get you data,” Rubeis said. “Customer data is the new oil.”

点击如下链接查看来源站点的原文: 原文链接

最新评论

暂无评论。

登录后可以发表评论

意见反馈
返回顶部