(Corrects first paragraph to show comparison was figure from second quarter, not a year ago. Year-ago figure in third paragraph)
LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Unusually strong refining margins helped lift third quarter profits for international oil company BP Plc in the third quarter to $5.2 billion, up from $3.7 billion in the second quarter and well ahead of expectations.
The company's downstream division - outside oil and gas production where production was little changed - delivered a record profit due to the high margins caused by tight fuel supplies in U.S. and European markets.
The result compared with $5.5 billion a year earlier.
(Reporting by Andrew Callus)