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Profits at BP and Shell to soar amid concern over fuel prices

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Daily Telegraph: Profits at BP and Shell to soar amid concern over fuel prices

By Ben Bland
Last Updated: 11:30pm BST 27/04/2008

The record oil price will help BP and Royal Dutch Shell post bumper first-quarter profits tomorrow amid growing concerns about how consumers and businesses will cope with the soaring cost of fuel.

City analysts expect BP and Shell to report quarterly profits of more than £2.5bn each. Brokers are forecasting that Shell will unveil earnings of around $6.7bn (£3.4bn), while rival BP is expected to reveal slightly smaller profits of $5.2bn (£2.6bn).

However, the record oil price will also hit profits at BP and Shell’s refining businesses.

“Companies with US exposure (such as BP and Shell) will be most impacted by the significantly softer refining environment,” said Jon Rigby, an analyst at UBS.

Kate Gibbs, a spokesman for the Road Haulage Association, claimed that BP and Shell’s massive profits would “rub salt in the wounds” of the trucking industry.

These profits are mind-boggling when you think of road hauliers who are struggling to deal with the Government’s proposed 2p per litre fuel duty rise,” she added.

“A lot of companies will go out of business if the 2p rise goes through.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/04/28/cnbp128.xml

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