8 Feb 2012

BP profits and dividend up

10:01 am on 8 February 2012

BP has boosted its profits and raised its dividend to shareholders by 14% - the first increase since the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010.

The company reported a net profit of $US23.9 billion in 2011, compared with a $US4.9 billion loss the previous year.

BP's profits were boosted by the price of oil, which remained at relatively high levels, of about $US100 per barrel, throughout the final three months of 2011.

Chief executive Bob Dudley says the company is gaining momentum again.

BP's dividend was raised to 8 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2011.

After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the company suspended dividend payments to shareholders for the first time in 60 years amid intense political pressure.

BP is asking Halliburton to pay for all costs and damages that arose from the Gulf of Mexico spill. The trial between BP and its contractor is expected within weeks.

BP has so far paid $US8.8 billion in damages claims.