Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image

Financial Times: Shell set to turn in $5.6bn for first quarter

Main page content:

Shell set to turn in $5.6bn for first quarterPublished: May 1 2006 03:00 | Last updated: May 1 2006 03:00



*British Sky Broadcasting, the satellite television group, will report its third quarter results, with the focus likely to be on the bidding for the live broadcasting rights for Premiership football games, and how the company will square the cost of the rights. BSkyB won three out of the six packages last week and the Premier League has put the remaining three packages for a second round of bidding. Analysts say they will downgrade forecasts if BSkyB ends up paying over 10 per cent more for the Premiership rights than the £1bn it paid previously. For the quarter to March 31, revenues are forecast to be £3.18bn to £3.3bn, while operating profits are forecast about £639m to £671m.

*EasyJet, the UK low-cost airline, is expected to report a doubling of its first-half pre-tax loss under the impact of higher fuel prices. Traditionally the group makes all of its profit in the second half of its financial year from April to September, and in its last trading update it said that it was still planning to achieve “mid to high single-digit percentage profit growth” for the full year to the end of September.

For its first six months to March the airline has forecast a rise in pre-tax losses from £22m to about £45m. Unit fuel costs were expect-ed to rise by 50 per cent in the first half leading to an additional charge of £55m. This is expected to have wiped out the progress made in cutting non-fuel costs and in increasing ancillary revenues per passenger, which include higher online hotel bookings, travel insurance and car hire sales, where EasyJet receives commission earnings.


*Royal Dutch Shell will publish its first quarter figures and the market is expecting that the group will unveil a current cost of supply profit – the industry standard – of about $5.57bn (£3.06bn). The group made a record profit in 2005 of $22.9bn, up from $17.6bn in 2004. High oil and gas prices mean that cash is pouring into the company coffers and analysts will ask what Shell intends to do with it. Many say that the group needs to make a big acquisition and that BG Group would be the obvious choice. Attention will also be focused on how Shell's flagship Sakhalin natural gas project off the east coast of Russia is going. The mammoth project has suffered from substantial cost over-runs and last year Shell conceded that the total cost had doubled to $20bn.


*L'Oréal's recent acquisition of Body Shop represented a big expansion of the French cosmetic group's exposure to retailing. The market will this week be looking for clues as to just what the parent has in mind for the latest addition to the family. Analysts are broadly agreed that the beauty chain L'Oréal is buying for £652m has had a strong recent run. The consensus forecast is for a five-fold increase in annual pre-tax profits from £7.1m last year to £36m this year when Body Shop on Friday releases delayed full-year results. But there is much less clarity among analysts about what the future has in store for the animal-friendly beauty chain. L'Oréal has dabbled in luxury boutiques but has never operated a mass-market retail network on the scale of Body Shop. Dame Anita Roddick, who with her husband will garner £117m for their stake, insists the socially-responsible brand she created will remain ring-fenced within L'Oréal's global empire. But the decisions now rest firmly with Paul Agon, who last week took over from Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones as chief executive of the world's leading cosmetics group.

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Comments are closed.