Shell profits soar after oil price bounce back

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has hailed a "strong" annual performance after profits more than doubled thanks to the surging cost of crude.

The group posted underlying earnings of $15.8 billion (£11.2 billion) for 2017, up from $7.2 billion (£5.1 billion) the previous year.

Shell said bottom line profits jumped to $12.1 billion (£8.5 billion), up from $3.5 billion (£2.5 billion) in 2016, while fourth quarter underlying earnings rose 140% to $4.3 billion (£3 billion).

Ben van Beurden is chief executive of Shell (Newscast/PA)
Ben van Beurden is chief executive of Shell (Newscast/PA)

The group's results have benefited as oil prices have risen past $70 a barrel for the first time in more than three years, boosted by supply curbs from oil cartel Opec, a record run of declines in US crude inventories and a weaker US dollar.

Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Shell, said: "2017 was a year of strong financial performance for Shell. A year of transformation, in which we showed we have what it takes to deliver a world-class investment case."

"We enter 2018 with continued discipline and confidence, committed to the delivery of strong returns and cash," he added.