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Oil giants BP and Total defy price drop to contain profits

Oil giants BP and Total defy price drop to contain profits
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A fall in profits but a resilient business. That’s the message from oil giant BP’s data for the three months to the end of March. Underlying profit for the period fell 19 percent to 2.58 billion dollars compared with a year earlier.

The fall in oil prices – 50 percent lower than last year – were responsible for the dip. But the drop in price meant its refineries could generate higher profits with BP more than doubling profits from its downstream business, as its known, to 2.2 billion dollars.

It was a similar story with Total which also produced higher than expected profits. Europe’s largest refiner more than tripled net operating income from the first quarter last year from its downstream operations to 1.1 billion dollars.

Like BP Total’s overall profits dropped – a fall of 22 percent at 2.60 billion dollars. Both companies figures beat analysts expectations.

Shares of BP and Total rose 1.4 and 2.0 percent respectively.

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