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Shell overstated its fourth quarter results by $178 million

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:48pm GMT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said on Friday it had overstated its fourth quarter results by $178 million (118.44 million pounds) due to an error in the valuation of its fuel inventory.

The company said its underlying earnings, which are most closely watched by analysts and investors, were unaffected by the mistake.

“A stock valuation error in its downstream operations was discovered,” Shell said in a statement.

“Royal Dutch Shell’s fourth quarter and full year 2014 earnings, on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis are unchanged,” the company said in the statement.

However, as a consequence of the error, Shell reduced fourth quarter income to shareholders from $773 million to $595 million. Full year income was cut from $15,052 million to $14,874 million.

Shell shares were down 1.8 percent to 20.22 stg each at 1631 GMT.

The Anglo-Dutch energy company reported on Thursday fourth-quarter 2014 adjusted net income of $3.3 billion which was weighed down by weaker than expected earnings from oil and gas production.

Shell, the largest of the European energy majors, also announced a relatively modest three-year, $15 billion cut in spending to help it weather the plunge in oil prices.

(Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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