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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
BP's Browne to stand down in 2008
BP boss Lord Browne

BP chief executive Lord Browne has confirmed he will be standing down in 2008, denying some media reports that he wishes to stay longer in the job.

Lord Browne will quit the top job when he hits BP's standard retirement age of 60 in February, 2008.

He told BBC Business Editor Robert Peston that reports saying he wished to stay on further were "nonsense".

Lord Browne's comments came as the oil giant unveiled record $6.1bn (3.3bn) second-quarter profits.

The figure for the three months to 30 June represents a 23% rise on the same period in 2005, boosted by higher oil prices.

It was higher than the $6bn expected by analysts.

'Steady as she goes'

ING analyst Jason Kenney said the results were obviously excellent, but still a little disappointing.

BP logo
BP is continuing to benefit from high oil prices

"I know they're record numbers, though I was looking for slightly higher," he said.

"However, it's steady as she goes."

BP added that it hoped its Thunder Horse platform in the US Gulf of Mexico - one of its largest new projects - would now start up in early 2007, a year later than scheduled.

It also indicated that rising costs had forced it to increase its capital expenditure plans.

The reported $6.1bn profit figure is replacement cost profit, a standard method by which an oil company reports its profits.

Analysts say it is the best measure of an oil firm's underlying performance.

Lord Browne has led BP since 1995.

Watch the interview with Lord Browne

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