BP announces profits plunge

BP today announced a 22 per cent plunge in annual profits to 17.29 billion US dollars (£8.76bn).Last week BP's main rival Royal Dutch Shell posted record profits of almost £14 billion.

BP today announced a 22 per cent plunge in annual profits to 17.29 billion US dollars (£8.76bn).

Last week BP's main rival Royal Dutch Shell posted record profits of almost £14 billion.

BP has also struggled with lower margins and production problems with its US refineries, which sent its

Chief executive Tony Hayward described BP's profits performance in the final three months of last year as “very disappointing in refining and marketing in particular”.

But in a move to keep shareholders happy, Mr Hayward announced a 25 pc rise in the oil firm's quarterly dividend to reflect the company's “increasingly robust view of the future”.