Royal Dutch Shell profits drop to two decade low

Royal Dutch Shell’s profit last year dropped to its lowest in at least two decades as the coronavirus pandemic hit energy demand worldwide though the company said it expected to raise its dividend again in a sign of confidence, Reuters reports.

Shell’s oil and gas production and profit from refining crude into fuels dropped sharply last year but it was able to avoid the huge losses of its rivals thanks to strong trading operations and sales at its network of more than 45,000 filling station where it also has convenience stores.

“We are coming out of 2020 with a stronger balance sheet,” Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said in a statement.

Shares in Shell were up 0.4% at 0822 GMT.

Shell shares collapsed in 2020 to hit 878.1 pence on Oct. 28, their lowest in more than a quarter of a century. They have recovered slightly but are still down 40% since the end of 2019, before COVID-19 savaged oil markets.

Shell’s adjusted earnings for 2020 slumped 71% to $4.8 billion, the lowest since at least 2000, according to Reuters data.

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