Oil major BP has reported solid quarterly profits despite a sharp fall in the contribution from its 20 per cent stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft.
The slide in the value of the rouble caused by pressure on Russia’s economy from the crisis in Ukraine helped cut BP’s share of profits from Rosneft by 75 per cent to $271 million (£161.3m) against the previous quarter.
Overall profits for the group were $3.2bn, an improvement of 15 per cent on the previous three months but down 23 per cent on a year earlier.
The firm also announced a second rise in its dividend within six months. A quarterly dividend of 9.75 cents a share will be paid in June, 8.3 per cent higher than a year earlier.
Chief executive Bob Dudley said it represented a “very solid start” to the year.
Ongoing divestments meant production was 8.5 per cent lower than the first quarter of 2013, although at an underlying level the figure was only slightly down, helped by new project volumes in the North Sea, Angola and Gulf of Mexico.
The company also continues to grapple with the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in 2010, which left 11 workers dead and sparked the worst oil spill in US history.
Jonathan Jackson, head of equities at Killik & Co, said BP’s financial position was “very robust”.
“We remain positive on the shares, given their exposure to our positive view on the oil price and the 4.8 per cent dividend yield.”