BP profits slide 20% on lower oil price

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Oil major BP today reported a 20 per cent slide in profits for the first quarter following a halving in the price of a barrel of Brent crude.

The group posted an underlying replacement cost profit of $2.6 billion (£1.7bn) for the first three months of its financial year, down from $3.2bn a year earlier.

Chief executive Bob Dudley said: “We are resetting and rebalancing BP to meet the challenges of a possible period of sustained lower prices. Our results today reflect both this weaker environment and the actions we are taking in response.

“We are continuing to progress our planned divestment programme, we are resetting our level of capital spending, and we are addressing costs through focusing on simplification and efficiency throughout BP.”

Dudley pointed out that Brent crude averaged $54 a barrel in the first quarter, compared with $108 a year earlier.