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Shell issues surprise profit warning as new boss Ben van Beurden admits recent performance ‘not what I expect’ from oil giant

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Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54‘This should bring to an end what has proved to be something of an “annus horribilis” for Shell, which has seen a key production target missed and weaker than anticipated profitability in North America,’ said Barclays.

Barclays pointed to Shell’s ‘stronger free cash flow position than the majority of the peer group’ and said it could ‘significantly step up divestments’ to satisfy investors’ thirst for returns.

Oil pundit Malcolm Graham-Wood said he believed van Beurden was trying to get bad news out of the way at the start of his tenure to ‘leave himself a decent starting point to what might be ten years in the job’.

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