LONDON -- The shares of BP (LSE:BP) (NYSE:BP) edged 9 pence higher to 471 pence during early London trade this morning, even though the oil major admitted its full-year profits had declined 19%.

BP, the third-largest constituent within the FTSE 100, said adjusted earnings on a replacement cost basis had dropped from $21.6 billion to $17.6 billion. The company added that its fourth-quarter profit calculated on the same basis fell by $1 billion to $4 billion.

BP claimed the earnings shortfall was due to lower downstream production following various asset sales made during the last year or two. Some 2.3 million barrels of oil were produced a day during 2012, down 6% on 2011.

Today's annual figures also included a further $5 billion charge relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which took the aggregate cost recognized by BP to $42 billion. Other figures of interest included net debt of $28 billion and total capital expenditure of $23 billion.

BP declared a $0.09 fourth-quarter dividend to match the higher payout set three months ago.

Bob Dudley, BP's chief executive, said:

We have moved past many milestones in 2012, repositioning BP through divestments and bringing on new projects. This lays a solid foundation for growth into the long term. Moving through 2013 we will deliver further operational milestones and remain on track for delivery of our ten-point strategic plan, including our target for operating cash flow growth, by 2014.

BP's results revealed earnings of about 58 pence per share and suggested the current 12-month dividend would be around 23 pence per share.

Those numbers place the shares on a P/E of 8 and yield of 5%.

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