Feb 1, 2018

Shell profits double despite $2bn US tax charge

Profits at Royal Dutch Shell more than doubled in the fourth quarter of last year, despite the group taking a $2bn charge related to President Donald Trump's US tax reforms. Earnings on a current cost of supplies basis - the measure watched most closely by analysts - were $4.3bn, excluding the US tax charge and other one-off items. That compared with $1.8bn in the same period of 2016 and was slightly ahead of the consensus forecast for $4.24bn. Even with exceptional items included, profits were more than double last year's because the US tax charge was offset by proceeds from asset disposals. The tax reforms signed into law by Mr Trump in December are expected to be beneficial to Shell and other large companies in the long run. Ben van Beurden, Shell chief executive, said 2017 had been a year of strong financial performance, highlighting a 73 per cent increase in full-year operating cash flow to $35.6bn. "We enter 2018 with continued discipline and confidence, committed to the delivery of strong returns and cash," he added.

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