BP's new Chief Executive Tony Hayward pledged to turn around Europe's second-largest fully-listed oil company on Tuesday as a drop in second-quarter profits highlighted its industry-lagging performance.
Hayward, who took over in May after his predecessor John Browne stepped down following revelations about his private life, promised to streamline the company but declined to give a timetable for its recovery.
"BP's current operating performance is not good enough ... rather than make optimistic predictions, I'd prefer to concentrate on real delivery," Hayward told a press conference.
The London-based company said second quarter replacement cost net profit, which strips out changes in the value of inventories, fell 1% to $6.09 billion, due to lower production and refinery outages, problems Hayward promised to address.
Excluding a $741 million one-off gain from the sale of oil fields and a U.K. refinery, underlying profits fell 12.5% at BP.
However, a lower-than-expected tax rate, and slightly better-than-forecast production meant the result was not as bad as predicted, while some investors were relieved growth targets were not cut again.
"The challenges may not be over but at least the rot seems to have been stopped," said Richard Hunter, Head of U.K. Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.
BP , the third-largest non-government controlled oil company in the world by market value, said oil and gas production fell 5% to 3.804 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (bpd) in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.