BP tries to soothe investor ire as profits lag forecast

LONDON (Reuters) - BP PLC Chief Executive Bob Dudley tried to soothe investor frustration at the oil major's sluggish share price by promising rapid long-term growth as he gave a weak short-term outlook.

BP reported second quarter replacement cost net income of $5.31 billion on Tuesday, as higher crude prices more than outweighed the impact of a drop in production after the company sold fields to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The result compares with a loss of $16.97 billion in the same period last year, after the company took a $32 billion charge for oil spill costs.

Excluding one-offs, the result was $5.61 billion, shy of an average forecast of $6.02 billion, from a Reuters poll of 12 analysts.

(Reporting by Tom Bergin)