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BP 3Q Profit Rises 78 Percent

October 29, 2002

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LONDON (AP) _ Energy group BP PLC said net income increased 78 percent in the third quarter, largely as a result of the sale of its stake in a German business.

The company’s performance fell short of analysts’ expectations and BP cut its estimate for annual growth in oil and gas production.

BP said Tuesday that net income for the third quarter was $2.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion during the same period a year ago. The sale of its stake in Germany’s Ruhrgas business accounted for $2.3 billion.

Excluding one-time gains and losses and the amortization of goodwill, BP’s ``pro forma″ earnings fell 13 percent to $2.3 billion from $2.7 billion in 2001. On that basis, analysts forecast earnings of $2.4 billion.

BP lowered its target for full-year growth in production of oil and gas to about 3 percent, down from 5.5 percent as recently as July.

BP had already scaled back its production growth targets, due to operating difficulties at key facilities in Alaska, the Rocky Mountains and the North Sea, and to the impact of storms in the Gulf of Mexico.

``Our trading environment has shown little improvement overall and, for the nine months, is well down on a year ago. Performance improvements have been impacted by weaker than expected production,″ chief executive Lord John Browne said.

The lower outlook added to investors’ disappointment, and BP shares fell 6 percent to 397 pence ($619) each in midday trading.

BP doesn’t report revenue on a quarterly basis. Its quarterly replacement cost operating profit was $1.76 billion compared to $3.73 billion in 2001.

For the first nine months of the year, BP reported net income of $6.3 billion and replacement cost operating profit of $7.1 billion. Comparable figures for 2001 were $7.2 billion and $14.2 billion respectively.

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