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Financial Times: Shell and BP beat expectations

By Ed Crooks
Published: April 29 2008 07:47 | Last updated: April 29 2008 08:02

Royal Dutch Shell and BP, Europe’s two biggest oil companies, have delivered better than expected results on the back of the soaring price of oil. While BP’s profit growth since last year was much faster than Shell’s, both companies comfortably exceeded analysts’ expectations.

BP’s faster profit growth came as it continued along the recovery track after the difficulties that contributed to the departure of Lord Browne, its former chief executive, last year.

Replacement cost net profit was up 48 per cent at $6.59bn for the first quarter of the year, from $4.44bn in the equivalent period of 2007.

Shell’s replacement cost profit was up 22 per cent at $7.78bn, from $6.93bn in the first quarter of 2007. Although Shell’s growth was slower, replacement cost profits were still above the top end of the range of analysts’ forecasts.

One conspicuous piece of good news in the Shell results was a rise in its production to 3.52m barrels of oil equivalent a day, up from 3.51m boe/d in the first quarter of 2007.

BP shares opened up 3 per cent at 596p, while also Shell began trading with a gain of 3 per cent at £19.80.

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