BP announces 53% profit drop

Oil giant BP is continuing to steer "a steady course through choppy waters" as it announced a 53% drop in profits.

The company's $3.14 billion (£1.9 billion) haul between April and June is well down on the $6.75 billion (£4.09 billion) seen a year ago when oil prices were approaching record high levels.

Chief executive Tony Hayward said: "We are in turbulent times, volatile and uncertain. But we continue to steer a steady course through choppy waters."

Mr Hayward said the figure was 30% higher than the first quarter of the year, which was helped by a 4% rise in BP's daily production to an equivalent of more than four million barrels of oil in the three months.

But BP has shown signs of progress in turning around years of under-performance, particularly in its refining operation, despite the obvious impact of falling crude prices on profits.

Speaking two years into the turnaround programme, Mr Hayward said BP was growing its exploration and production business in conjunction with turning around its downstream operations and improving efficiency.

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