BG Group, the Bracknell, UK-based gas and oil production firm, has posted strong Q1 results that outstripped analysts' predictions.

In a statement, the company said that total like for like operating profit grew by some 42% against the equivalent quarter last year – and this does not account for rising commodity prices.

Overall Q1 profit reached GBP578 million, a 123% jump from the year-before period on the back of surging gas and oil prices and lucrative arbitrage opportunities available through BG’s trading arm

BG has made an excellent start to the year, in line with our plans presented in February. The 111% increase in earnings per share was driven by a step change in both E&P production and contracted LNG supply, together with higher realizations, said CEO Frank Chapman.

The firm has been at the center of widespread speculation about a possible approach from rival players in the upstream sector in recent months.