High oil prices earn Shell billions
Shell's production dropped in the first quarter of the year but profits rose dramatically thanks to the high prices of oil. The Anglo-Dutch oil company made 4.6 billion euros in profits, 41 percent more than in the same period last year.
Oil is about 40 percent more expensive than it was last year. Turnover in the first quarter totalled 74 billion euros compared with 58 billion in the first quarter of 2010.
In fact, Europe's biggest oil company produced three percent less oil and gas this year. But Shell's CEO Peter Voser says the company is ready for new growth. Shell began oil extraction in Schoonebeek this year and started a new gas project in Qatar. Shell will be drilling at another 18 locations between now and 2014.
While Shell is profiting from the price of oil, the likewise Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever is suffering. Apart from high oil prices the foodstuffs and cleaning products firm has also been hampered by expensive cooking oils and chemical products.
Unilever's turnover in the first quarter increased by seven percent to just under 11 billion euros. Most of the growth has been in emerging markets. Growth in established markets was much smaller.
CEO Paul Polman says existing lines will be expanded into new markets, such as Magnum ice cream in the United States and Dove Hair in China. He has also promised "great new products" in many countries.
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