Sunday 20 April 2014

Refineries boost Shell profits

Royal Dutch Shell blamed a decline in earnings on higher costs and exploration expenses

Royal Dutch Shell has reported fourth quarter net profits of 6.67 billion US dollars (£4.21 billion), a rise from 6.5 billion dollars (£4.1 billion) in the same period a year ago, as its refining operations returned to profit.

At the company's production division, earnings were 4.38 billion dollars (£2.76 billion), falling from 5.1 billion dollars (£3.2 billion) a year earlier. Shell blamed the decline on higher costs and exploration expenses.

Production increased by 3.3% to 3.41 million barrels of oil or natural gas equivalents per day, as increases at young projects in Qatar and Australia offset declines at existing fields.

The company's refining arm booked a profit of 1.2 billion dollars (£758 million), compared with a loss of 278 million dollars (£175 million) last year, as intake and margins improved.

Shell said it had net gains on asset sales of 1.7 billion dollars (£1.07 billion), up from 1.6 billion dollars (£1.01 billion).

Press Association

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