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Financial Times: Analysts take record Shell profits in stride

Published: February 4 2006 02:00
Royal Dutch Shell reported the highest annual corporate profits for a UK-listed company on the back of soaring oil prices, generating profits of $23bn (£13bn), up nearly a third on last year.
However profits in the fourth quarter slowed, with the company reporting a rise of 3 per cent after hurricane damage in the Gulf of Mexico and unrest in Nigeria blighted oil production.
Shell added that there was little likelihood of a growth in production this year, and analysts were disappointed that the earnings failed to match those of rival ExxonMobil, which earlier in the week reported that it had made $36.1bn last year.
Jeroen van der Veer, Shell chief executive, said he was confident of finding new oil reserves, with the company increasingly looking in frontier areas. He also rejected suggestions that the world was running short of new energy supplies. Shell has pledged to spend $19bn a year on new developments, focusing on projects in Nigeria, China, Oman, Russia and Malaysia.

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