BP "Off to a good start"
BP reported underlying profits of $4.2bn, down 9pc from $4.7bn in the same period of 2012, as the company sold off assets to pay for the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
The underlying result was, however, almost $1bn above the expectations of analysts, who had forecast a profit slump of as much as 30pc.
When the one-off gain from BP’s sale of its interest in joint venture TNK-BP is included, the firm made $16.6bn in the quarter.
Bob Dudley, BP chief executive, said: “These strong first-quarter results demonstrate the progress BP is making in delivering the performance milestones that support our 10-point plan and underpin our commitment to material operating cash flow growth by 2014.
“The early completion of the sale of our interest in TNK-BP has also allowed us to begin a share buy-back programme which we expect to return up to $8bn to our shareholders and reflects the reduction in BP’s asset base following our divestment programme over the past three years.”
He added that the company’s continuing divestment programme now totalled $23bn.
“These results represent a strong start to 2013 across all of our businesses,” said BP chief executive Bob Dudley.”We have made a good start against our strategic priorities for 2012.”