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Profit fall leaves Shell struggling to justify BG deal

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Danny Fortson Published: 1 May 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is set to unveil a steep fall in profits this week, laying bare the challenge for chief executive Ben van Beurden to justify his £35bn takeover of rival BG.

Shell completed the blockbuster deal in February after investors voted it through. Despite counting six weeks of BG’s earnings, analysts expect Europe’s largest oil company to have earned just $1bn (£680m) in profits for the quarter. That compares with a surplus of $3.2bn for the same period a year ago.

Van Beurden has pledged to sell $30bn in assets and slash 10,000 jobs to claw back some of the huge investment in BG.

Brent crude has bounced back since it plunged to less than $31 a barrel in January, closing on Friday at $47.37.

Yet hopes that a sustained recovery could bail him out have dimmed in recent days…

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