BP Profit Slides

Lower prices to blame

BP said on Oct. 27 that its third-quarter net profit sank 34% to $5.34 billion, hit by lower oil prices and despite higher production.

BP said that total sales fell 37% to $67.9 billion in the three months to September, even as output rose 6.9% to 3.92 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Net profit, excluding the effect of stocks, slumped 50% from a year earlier to $4.98 billion dollars.

"These results demonstrate real operational momentum across the company," said BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward. "They show that even in the tough conditions that prevail in many of our markets, we can continue to deliver on our promise to invest in future growth while meeting our commitments to shareholders today."

The group slashed its headcount by 3,000 people in 2008 and is on course to shed another 5,000 positions this year.

NCB oil market analyst Peter Hutton predicted that the company would likely upgrade its earnings forecasts after the "positive" results statement. "These are clearly a very positive set of results, not only convincingly beating forecasts on all key lines ... but also providing the basis for expected earnings upgrades beyond 2009 from the very strong delivery of cost savings."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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