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This oil refiner is cutting 1,100 jobs — and giving billions of dollars to its shareholders

New York

Phillips 66 is cutting at least 1,100 jobs by the end of this year as the refining giant seeks to slash costs and steer a larger chunk of its soaring profits to shareholders.

At its investor day meeting in New York Wednesday, Phillips 66 detailed plans to slim down in a bid to save about $1 billion in annual costs.

In a presentation to shareholders, the refiner projected a workforce of under 12,900 people by the end of this year, down from 14,000 last year and 14,300 in 2020.

Phillips 66 spokesperson Bernardo Fallas said the smaller workforce was driven by a combination of attrition and eliminated positions.

Most of the job cuts have already taken place and were communicated to employees in late October, the spokesperson said, adding that recent attrition levels significantly lowered the number of employees impacted.

The layoffs come despite the fact that Phillips 66, one of the nation’s largest refiners, has raked in $9.1 billion in profit so far this year, up from just $44 million a year ago. The company’s share price has soared 45% so far this year, easily outperforming the 20% decline for the broader S&P 500.

“Phillips 66 is undergoing a company-wide effort to optimize its cost structure and reimagine its operating model to enable sustainable savings,” the spokesperson said.

Houston-based Phillips 66 said the cost-cutting moves, along with other steps, will give the company more financial firepower to boost stock buybacks and dividends.

Phillips 66 said it plans to return an additional $10 billion to $12 billion to shareholders between mid-2022 and the end of 2024.

“We are announcing a number of priorities designed to reward shareholders,” Phillips 66 CEO Mark Lashier said in a statement.

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