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Shell to announce a cull of up to 600 senior management roles?

Daily Telegraph

‘Grim reading’ likely at BP and Shell

BP and Shell, the oil giants, will this week release results that analysts expect to make “grim reading” because of lower global demand for oil.

By Rowena Mason
Published: 10:08PM BST 26 Jul 2009

Shell, which recently became the world’s biggest company by market capitalisation, has been hit by falling output in the Nigerian delta, where rebels have attacked its facilities. The company could announce a cull of up to 600 senior management roles globally.

Analyst consensus forecasts show that BP is expected to make $2.78bn (£1.69bn) in adjusted operating profit, edging ahead of Shell’s estimated $2.4bn profit.

Both companies are under pressure from falling demand for oil, but Shell is more exposed to the slumping price of natural gas. Richard Griffiths, an analyst at Evolution Securities, said: “Everyone knows it is going to be grim reading, so we will be looking at the outlook. Rising oil prices combined with a declining cost base means earnings momentum should start to turn in a postive direction.”

Despite lower profits, analysts said that safe dividends are not under threat.

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