Byline: Oscar Blend
ROYAL Dutch Shell suffered more setbacks today as it posted fullyear earnings down almost 70% and announced that 1000 more staff would have to go.
Shell's shares fell nearly 2% after it published results which analysts described as "disappointing" given the rise in the price of oil, although they were roughly in line with expectations.
Despite the oil price, Shell, along with BP and other big players, has been hit hard by the collapse in profitability in its refining operations, where customer demand for petrol and other refined products has fallen due to the economic downturn.
For the full year, Shell's profits before tax plummeted 69% from $31.37 billion ([pounds sterling]19.64 billion) to $9.8 billion and 75% in the quarter from $2.99 billion to $1.18 billion.
Chief executive Peter Voser said the company had been subject to the "weak global economy" and declared: "Having been at Shell for 25 years this is the toughest refining environment I have known."
Chief financial officer Simon Henry added that while oil prices rose, the benefits were "more than offset by a lower natural gas price and poor refining margins". …