BP has announced a slight drop in profits in the first half of 2007, but the results are not as bad as many observers had anticipated.
Releasing its second quarter results today, BP announced it had made replacement cost profits of $6.087 billion (£2.95 billion) a drop of one per cent from the $6.118 billion (£2.97 billion) 12 months ago.
The figures, from April to June, are the first to be announced by new BP boss Tony Hayward, who took over the reins from Lord Browne after his resignation in May.
Over the first six months of the year, replacement cost profit was down eight per cent to $10.448 billion (£5.07 billion) compared with $11.383 billion (£5.52 billion) last year.
BP said in a statement today that net income increased to $7.38 billion (£3.58 billion) from $7.27 billion (£3.53 billion), but this was in part a result of the sale of a UK refinery and other oil fields.
"The second quarter gain comprised of disposal gains of $1.025 billion (£500 million) primarily related to the sale of the Coryton refinery, which completed on May 31st 2007, and the sale of the US West Texas pipeline system to Occidental Petroleum Corporation, partially offset by an impairment charge of $258 million (£125 million)," the company said.
Many analysts had anticipated a bigger dent to BP's profits; and shares in the company were buoyed by the figures, up 0.25 per cent on early trading.
But concern remains about falling production levels, with second-quarter figures down five per cent on the four million barrels of oil it produced in the equivalent three-month period last year.