Oil Firm Shell's Profits Double To £18bn
Royal Dutch Shell has reported a profits of £18.1bn ($28.6bn) for 2011, a jump of 54% on a year ago.
The improvement for the Anglo-Dutch company came as high oil prices outweighed poor margins in its refining business and despite a 3% decline in production.
Its performance in the final quarter of last year was also worse than expected, with trading impacted by a squeeze on refining margins and lower natural gas prices.
But the oil firm still made profits of £4.1bn ($6.5bn) in the fourth quarter, which represented a 13% rise on a year ago.
Royal Dutch Shell chief executive officer Peter Voser said: "Our fourth quarter results were impacted by a sharp downturn in industry refining margins and North American natural gas prices.
"The global economy and energy markets are likely to see continued high volatility. Despite the near-term uncertainties, Shell's focus remains on through-cycle investment for sustainable growth."
Shell has outshone its troubled rival BP in recent years and underlined its confidence by promising dividend growth for the first time since 2009.
It said its three-year strategic plan, beginning in 2010, had built the foundations for growth through a company-wide restructuring and by refocusing its efforts on emerging growth markets.
The company is planning investment in major projects worth £19bn in 2012 and said its outlook was boosted by more than 60 new projects and options.
There will also be £3.8bn of investment in Shell's 'heartlands' during this year, including extending the life of its UK operations in the North Sea.
Mr Voser added: "Shell's strategy is innovative and competitive. Our improving financial position creates an opportunity to increase both our dividends and investment levels."
His comments came a month after Shell angered unions when it scrapped its final salary pension scheme for new recruits, meaning not a single employer in the FTSE 100 Index now offers the retirement package.
what do you think?
Who made the profits possible?..Joe public who is still being ripped off to satisfy stock holders and company fat cats.
Proves how all the oil fat cats are ripping us of !!
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Production down by 3%, profits up 54%. Sounds like market manipulation to me - and I say that as a free enterprise Tory voter!
Only 2% of the profits come from petrol - what does the other 98% represent?
Dont expect the Gov. to get involved in easing fuel prices £18 Bn.generates a lot of taxes for the coffers thats if the corrupt lot in power bother to collect it instead of Joe Public making up the shortfall......Witch seems more than likely
Another example of rip off britain, especialay for the motorist.
Windows Live User
a jump of 54% When is somebody going to stop companies such these raping us? The rubbish we have been fed with while pump prices increased Bah!!
Bill Will Green
Since when has a rise of 54% been DOUBLE something? Surely to double something it has to rise by 100%. Good going Orange, not letting fact get in the way of a good headline!
Bill, the 54% could be the increase when taken as part of the current figure, rather than last year. Orange's headline writers are not known for their accuracy or accounting skills. lol
The big boys will always make fortunes, at our expense. Peter. Holmfirth
If they are doing so well they I'm sure they can afford to put some money back into the communities they invaded and the habitats they have destroyed.