BP Profits Rise by 33%

1 February 2010 (Last Updated February 1st, 2010 18:30)

BP has reported a 33% increase in its fourth-quarter replacement cost profit to $3.45bn, but the oil major has missed forecasts as higher oil prices and a rise in output countered lower refining margins. Excluding one-off and non-operating items - which amounted to a net charge of

BP has reported a 33% increase in its fourth-quarter replacement cost profit to $3.45bn, but the oil major has missed forecasts as higher oil prices and a rise in output countered lower refining margins.

Excluding one-off and non-operating items - which amounted to a net charge of $937m - the result was $4.38bn, behind an average forecast of $4.65bn from a Reuters poll of nine analysts, reports Reuters.

In a statement, BP said output rose 3% to 4.05 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the quarter compared with the same period in 2008.

Chief executive Tony Hayward said output was likely to fall this year, adding that oil prices are well supported by Opec, but gas prices would remain volatile. He also said refining margins would remain depressed.

Earnings in the fourth quarter of 2008 were hit by a $700m lagged tax charge at BP's Russian unit.