ConocoPhillips profits surge

ConocoPhillips, the third-largest US oil company, reported a 54 per cent increase in quarterly profit yesterday as proceeds from asset sales and higher crude prices and refining margins boosted results. Profit in the fourth quarter was $2bn (£1.26bn), or $1.39 per share, compared with $1.3bn, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.