British Petroleum warned the Government not make big changes to the business tax system. John Browne, chief executive, also made clear the group's opposition to any moves by Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, to raise oil taxes in his July Budget. Mr Browne said: "We would not like the corporation tax system altered or rates to be adjusted. This would be bad in general and bad for us because this is our home country."
The comments came as BP announced record profits before tax and exceptional items of pounds 755m for the first three months of the year, an increase of 19 per cent. Earnings from exploration and production surged by 24 per cent to pounds 913m, while BP said there were signs that profit margins from refining and retailing were improving after last year's slump. The company also warned that it would need to spend at least $100m (pounds 62m) solving the millennium computer problem. Investment column, page 22.