FTSE falls as BP unveils 51% drop in profits

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The FTSE 100 tumbled yesterday after BP revealed that profits at the group had dropped 51 per cent in the year.

BP recorded its worst results for decades, recording full year profit of $5.9bn (£4.1bn), compared with $12.1bn reported for 2014. For the fourth quarter profit was $196m compared with $2.2bn for the same quarter last year. The company revealed it will cut 7,000 jobs as a result.

Shares in the oil giant dropped 8.6 per cent to 331p by the end of trading yesterday, weighing on the FTSE, which ended 2.2 per cent at market close.

The low oil price has weighed on BP’s profits, while it also continues to pay for the liabilities connected to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

However, BP maintained its dividend payout, despite payouts from oil companies being thrown into question recently. It said it would pay a dividend of 10 cents per ordinary share for the quarter, payable in March. “The dividend remains unchanged,” added the company.

Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, says the company is committed to cutting costs and maintaining the dividend.

“All of this underpins our commitment to sustaining our dividend and then growing free cash flow and shareholder distributions over the long term,” he adds.