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Smaller BP's Profits Down as Oil Spill Trial Looms

Feb 5, 2013
(Reuters)

Shrinking British oil company BP Plc announced quarterly profit down a fifth from a year ago, after it sold assets in preparation for what could be its biggest oil spill payout when the case comes to trial later this month.

BP, the last of the big four western world oil companies to report fourth quarter figures, still beat expectations because of one-off taxes related to its divestments and liability payments, and its shares rose nearly 2 percent.

Once the world No. 2 but now the smallest of the four "oil majors" by market value, BP turned in net profit adjusted for non-operating items and accounting effects of $3.984 billion down from $4.986 billion a year earlier.