Shell profits plunge to £1.1bn as oil price woes continue


Shell's first-quarter profits plummeted 58% to 1.6 billion US dollars (£1.1 billion) as the falling oil price continues to hammer the sector.

Shell's downstream business, which includes refining, saw profits fall from 2.65 billion US dollars (£1.8 billion) billion to 2 billion US dollars (£1.3 billion) compared with the same period last year.

Losses at the upstream business, which includes exploration and production, came in at 1.4 billion US dollars (£963 million).

Earnings on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis were 800 million US dollars (£550 million), compared with 4.8 billion US dollars (£3.3 billion) last year.

However, the results beat analyst expectations for the oil giant and Shell's chief executive Ben van Beurden said: "Downstream and Integrated Gas businesses are delivering strong results and underpinning our financial performance despite continued low oil and gas prices.

"We continue to reduce our spending levels, to capture cost opportunities and manage the financial framework in today's lower oil price environment.

"The combination with BG is off to a strong start, as a result of detailed forward planning before the completion of the transaction. This will likely result in accelerated delivery of the synergies from the acquisition, and at a lower cost than we originally set out."