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Royal Dutch Shell sees profits fall

1 November 2012 Last updated at 07:49

Royal Dutch Shell has reported profits of $6.12bn (£4.5bn) for the past three months, down from $7.2bn for same the quarter last year.

The Anglo-Dutch company blamed the fall on lower oil and gas prices.

Excluding one-off items such tax changes and other factors, the third-quarter profits were $6.6bn, down 6% on last year.

Chief executive Peter Voser said the figures showed “progress in a difficult industry environment”.

Sales fell 8.9% to $112bn, reflecting the global economic slowdown and reduced demand for oil.

Shell said that it saw stronger margins in its oil refining division, but these were outweighed by lower crude prices during the quarter.

In a statement, Mr Voser said: “Our earnings were driven by lower oil and gas prices, and lower chemicals margins, which offset the benefits of our operating performance, underlying growth in oil and gas production, and higher results in integrated gas and oil products.”

Shell, the world’s second largest publicly quoted oil company behind Exxon Mobil, has raised its quarterly dividend by 2.4% from last year.

On Tuesday, BP reported a fall in third-quarter profits to $4.69bn, but its shares rose 5% on the day following news that its dividend would increase by 12.5%.

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