Shell boss touts “robust” profits despite drop

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell touted “robust” profits for the first three months of 2014 today, despite a nearly halving in size compared with the start of last year. First quarter […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell touted “robust” profits for the first three months of 2014 today, despite a nearly halving in size compared with the start of last year.

First quarter earnings in 2014 were $4.5 billion (£2.7bn) compared with $8 billion (£4.7bn) for the first quarter of 2013.

Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said: “Our first quarter 2014 results reflect more robust levels of profitability. However, as we saw in 2013, we are in an industry where high volatility remains, both in the macro-environment and in our quarterly results.”

He said the year has seen new, profitable production from the deep-water Gulf of Mexico and Iraq along with new LNG from our its new buy from Repsol.

Expressing determination to improve Shell’s competitiveness, Mr van Beurden said his firm would balance growth and returns with “better financial performance”, picking projects “selectively” and divesting $15 billion of assets between 2014-15.