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Daily Express: Teed up for gloom among oil giants

City & Business
Briefing: WEEK AHEAD
Monday 22 October 2007

OIL majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell are expected to report sharp falls in third-quarter profits this week. Both have suffered problems, with costs rising, output falling, a weaker dollar and tighter profit margins in refining overcoming the positive effect of soaring oil prices.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward has teed the City up for gloom. In a leaked memo to staff he warned results would be dreadful. Shell’s performance is expected to have been only a little better.

Tomorrow BP is likely to report underlying post-tax profits of $3.96 billion (£1.93 billion) for the third quarter — about 30 per cent lower than last year. On Thursday Shell’s consensus forecasts put profits at $5.64billion (£2.7billion) for the quarter, representing a fall of nearly 20 per cent on the same period last year.

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