Refineries boost Shell profits
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).