BP said that net profits hit $23.9 billion (€18.2 billion) in 2011 following a loss the previous year when the British energy giant was ravaged by US Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, RTE Ireland reported.
It suffered a loss of $4.9 billion in 2010 when an explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers, caused millions of barrels of oil to spew into the sea and left the company with huge compensation costs.
The company signalled a further step in its recovery on 7 February by hiking its payout for shareholders for the first time since the Gulf of Mexico spill.
Chief executive Bob Dudley said the oil giant, which accounts for one pound in every six invested by UK pension schemes, remained on the "right path" as he unveiled a 14% increase in the company's dividend to 5.1 pence a share.
Meanwhile, the group said that, as of 31 December, it had paid out $ 7.5 billion for individual, business and government claims since the incident, as it prepares to go on trial at the end of this month.
"As I have said before, we are prepared to settle if we can do so on fair and reasonable terms, but equally, if this is not possible, we are preparing vigorously for trial," Dudley said.
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