Lower oil prices and charges send Shell profits tumbling

Royal Dutch Shell has suffered a hefty fall in full-year profits after lower oil prices and charges sent earnings crashing 88% in the final three months of 2019.

The oil giant reported a 36% drop in earnings attributable to shareholders to 15.3 billion US dollars (£11.8 billion) for 2019.

Big falls in the cost of crude and a large impairment charge hit its fourth-quarter results, with earnings plunging to 871 million US dollars (£670 million) against 7.3 billion US dollars (£5.6 billion) a year earlier.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said: “The strength of Shell’s strategy and portfolio has enabled delivery of competitive cash flow performance in 2019 despite challenging macroeconomic conditions in refining and chemicals, as well as lower oil and gas prices.

“We generated 47 billion US dollars (£36 billion) in cash flow from operating activities excluding working capital movements and distributed over 25 billion US dollars (£19 billion) in dividends and share buybacks to our shareholders.”

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