BP reports $4.9bn annual loss after oil spill costs

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BP has reported a loss of $4.9bn (£3.1bn) for 2010, its first annual loss since 1992.

The company said the replacement cost loss reflected a sum of $40.9bn set aside for charges relating to the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The loss compares with a profit of $13.9bn that BP had recorded in 2009.

The company's chief executive, Robert Dudley, said BP would restore its dividend payment to shareholders, paying seven cents a share.

The dividend payouts had been suspended in the wake of the Gulf spill.

The company's chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, said: "We have chosen a prudent level that reflects the company's strong underlying financial and operating performance but also recognises the need to fully meet our obligations in the Gulf of Mexico and to maintain financial flexibility."...

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