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Friday 30th of October 2009
October 29, 2009    

Shell posts 73% fall in third quarter profits

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by Kay Murchie

Royal Dutch Shell has today posted a 73% fall in profits for the July to September period.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant warned that the outlook remains “very uncertain” and according to The Times, is to eliminate 5,000 positions, around 10% of its workforce.

The group said its cost-cutting exercise means that 5,000 staff would leave the group as part of the Transition 2009 programme.

Profit for the third quarter fell from $10.9 billion (£6.6 billion) last year to $3 billion (£1.8 billion). Sales fell 43% to $75 billion.

Following the announcement, shares in the group fell 3.45% to £18.45.

The news comes just a few days after rival oil giant BP announced a sharp fall in quarterly profits due to lower oil prices. However, BP’s results did exceed expectations.

Oil giants have been suffering amid weaker oil prices. Although oil prices have increased recently to around the $77 a barrel mark, prices are still way off the peak of $147 set in July 2008.

Peter Voser, Shell’s chief executive, comments: “We see some indications that energy demand and pricing are improving, but the outlook remains very uncertain.”

US competitors Exxon Mobil (the world‘s biggest oil company) and Chevron are scheduled to announce their results this week.

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