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BP profits rise on higher oil prices

The recent increase in oil prices has helped BP to record a healthy profit for the three months to March. BP reported a $1.4bn (£1.1bn) profit, compared with a $485m loss a year earlier.

Oil prices have been about 35% higher in the first three months of 2017 compared with a year earlier, boosting revenue from BP’s core oil and gas production division.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley said: ”Our year has started well. BP is focused on the disciplined delivery of our plans. First quarter earnings and cash flow were robust.”

Underlying replacement cost profit - the company’s preferred measure - was $1.5bn compared with $532m a year ago and operating cash flow rose to $4.4bn from $3bn a year earlier.

Reported oil and gas production was 5% higher than same period in 2016.

BP held the quarterly dividend at 10 cents.