Oil giant BP said on Tuesday that its profits had risen 48 per cent to $6,588 million in the first quarter of 2008. The company said that its net cash from operating activities in the quarter was $10.9 billion, up from $8.0 billion one year ago.

BP said that its net debt at the end of the first quarter was $23.8 billion. Capital expenditure for the company, excluding acquisitions was $7.1 billion in the first quarter.

The company said that its quarterly dividend was up 31 per cent from 10.325 cents per share to 13.525 cents per share. In pound sterling the dividend was up 33 per cent from 5.151 pence per share to 6.830 pence per share.