Royal Dutch Shell today reported first quarter 2013 earnings, on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis, were $8.0 billion compared with $7.7 billion for the first quarter 2012.
First quarter 2013 CCS earnings excluding identified items were $7.5 billion compared with $7.3 billion for the first quarter 2012, an increase of 3%.
“Our industry continues to see significant energy price volatility as a result of economic and political developments. Oil prices have fallen recently but Shell is implementing a long-term, competitive and innovative strategy against this volatile backdrop.”
“Shell’s underlying CCS earnings were $7.5 billion for the quarter, a 2% increase in CCS earnings per share from the first quarter of 2012. These results were underpinned by Shell’s growth projects, an improvement in downstream profitability, and were delivered despite a difficult security environment in Nigeria.”
“Our profits pay for Shell’s dividends and investment in new projects to ensure affordable and reliable energy supplies for our customers, and to add value for our shareholders.”
“Shell is investing for profitable growth, whilst maintaining strong capital discipline. We are developing some 30 new projects and maturing a series of further opportunities for investment. So far this year, we’ve seen the growth impact of recent start ups and we took four final investment decisions in petrochemicals, deepwater, and LNG.”
“We continue to take a dynamic approach to portfolio” continued Voser. “Asset sales – $0.6 billion in the first quarter and over $21 billion in the last three years – improve our capital efficiency and can bring in strategic partners. We use selective acquisitions to refresh our opportunity set.”
Voser commented: “We distributed $11 billion of dividends over the last year, the highest in our industry, and today we confirm a 5% rise in our dividend to $0.45 per share.”
He concluded “Dividends are Shell’s main route for returning cash to shareholders. Our improving cash flow also enables us to accelerate our share buyback programme, this year so far we have repurchased some $1.2 billion of shares by the end of April. In the current environment we would expect to more than offset the scrip dividend issue this year, and we are determined to implement the policy to offset dilution over the business cycle. This underlines our commitment to shareholder returns.”