Shares in BP were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading, despite the energy giant reporting a decline in replacement cost profit in the first quarter of 2011.
First quarter replacement cost profit was $5.5 billion, down from $5.6 billion in the same period last year. However the figure was well above the $4.6 billion reported in the fourth quarter of last year.
The group said that net cash from operating activities at the end of the period, including the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, was down from $7.7 billion last year to $2.4 billion. During the quarter the group saw net outflows of $2.8 billion related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Net debt at the end of the period was $27.5 billion, up from $25.2 billion a year ago.
During the period BP raised one billion dollars from disposals. Since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill BP has embarked on a programme of disposals of non-core assets in a bid to cover the costs of the spill.
The group said it would be paying a quarterly dividend of seven cents per share.
Keith Bowman, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, commented,
"The aftershocks from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill continue to impact BP. Production is lower (-11pc), thanks to forced asset sales made in order to pay for last year's catastrophe, whilst the exact cost of the oil spill is still as yet unknown. Furthermore, the group's future strategy is in disarray, with Russian partners feuding, while rivals such as Shell continue to steal ground, remaining focused on day-to-day operations and implemented management strategy.
"In all, investors believe that BP can recovery from this dire chapter in its history, with market consensus opinion currently denoting a cautious buy. However the group's share price performance summarises the group's difficulties and challenges ahead, underperforming the broader Oil & Gas sector by over 30pc during the course of the last year."
By 10:10 shares in BP were up 0.95 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 468.60 pence per share.
To contact the editor, e-mail: