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Shell’s profits surge 175 per cent to $27.3 billion

Sunday Express


Sunday 29 Jan 2012

By Tracey Boles

ROYAL Dutch Shell is set to gush full-year profits of $27.3 billion (£17.4 billion) for 2011, a 175 per cent increase in a year.

The expected surge in earnings comes despite fourth-quarter profits hurt by lower demand because of the warm winter weather.

The results, buoyed by the high cost of crude oil last year, represent a spectacular return to form for the oil giant which reported disappointing full-year profits for 2010 of $9.8 billion (£6.3 billion).

However, it is still below its 2009 record performance of $31.4 billion ($20 billion).

Analysts predict that profits for the fourth quarter at the Anglo-Dutch company will be about $5.1 billion (£3.3 billion), which compares with $7.25 billion in the third quarter.

This represents a drop of about 25 per cent which is attributed to the mild winter and an extensive maintenance programme.

But it is a strong recovery from the previous year, when it suffered a 75 per cent crash in fourth-quarter profits to $1.18 billion (£750 million).

Analysts at Collins Stewart said: “Shell will report its Q4 2011 results on February 2. We expect a combination of circumstances to lead to weak figures, as was the case at fourth-quarter 2010.”

“In our view the market is still underestimating the scale of growth in its cash flow, from an underlying $32 billion (£31.8 billion) in 2010 to about $50 billion (£20 billion) by 2013 on our estimates.”

The experts also expect guidance this week on the 2012 dividend, with growth predicted.

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