BP Beats Forecasts Despite 50% Q3 Profit Drop

26 October 2009 (Last Updated October 26th, 2009 18:30)

BP's third-quarter profits have more than halved from a year ago, hurt by lower oil and gas prices. Replacement cost profit between July and September fell 50% to $4.98bn (£3bn), down from $10bn a year earlier. The company did however beat third-quarter earnings forecasts b

BP's third-quarter profits have more than halved from a year ago, hurt by lower oil and gas prices.

Replacement cost profit between July and September fell 50% to $4.98bn (£3bn), down from $10bn a year earlier.

The company did however beat third-quarter earnings forecasts by a big margin as its cost-cutting programme proved more successful than expected, prompting the major to increase its target for savings for the year.

Excluding one-offs, the result was $4.67bn, compared to an average forecast of $3.16bn from a Reuters poll of 11 analysts.

Dealers said that they expected the London-based company's shares to open 3% higher on the earnings, according to Reuters.

"These results demonstrate real operational momentum across the company. We continue to transform our cost base," BP chief executive Tony Hayward said in a statement.