Shell says profits rocket to $8.78bn in quarter
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell announced on Thursday that net profits surged by 60 percent in the first quarter as the group benefited from resurgent oil prices.
Earnings after taxation rallied to $8.78 billion (six billion euros) in the three months to March, up from $5.48 billion a year earlier, the company said in a results statement. Sales rose 28 percent to almost $110 billion.
"Our first quarter 2011 earnings have risen from year-ago levels, driven by higher industry margins and our own operating performance," chief executive Peter Voser said in the earnings release.
"We continue to make good progress in implementing our strategy; improving near-term performance, delivering a new wave of production growth, and maturing the next generation of growth options for shareholders."
Shell added that adjusted net profits, stripping out movements in the value of inventories and other non-operating items, jumped to $6.29 billion in the reporting period, compared with $4.82 billion last time around.
Market expectations had been for a figure of about $6.11 billion according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Total oil and gas production, meanwhile, declined by 2.5 percent to 3.504 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The energy sector has reaped major benefits from the soaring cost of crude oil in recent months.
BP had announced on Wednesday that its first-quarter net profits leapt 17 percent to $7.124 billion (4.9 billion euros), but it also revised upward the cost of last year's fatal Gulf oil spill disaster.
World oil prices surged in the first three months of this year, boosted by simmering tensions and violent unrest in the crude-producing Middle East and North Africa region.
However, the market remains significantly below record high prices of above $147 per barrel which were reached in July 2008.
© 2011 AFP