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Energy giant Shell posts sliding 2013 profits

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Energy-giant-ShellOil giant Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday posted a 39-percent slump in annual net profits, two weeks after shocking the market with a profit warning.

Earnings before taxation dived to USD 16.371 billion last year, compared with USD 26.712 billion in 2012, the London-listed company confirmed in a results statement.

The Anglo-Dutch energy major also outlined plans to sell off USD 15 billion of assets over the next two years and slash capital expenditure.

Shell shocked investors earlier this month with its first profit warning in a decade, blaming high exploration costs, pressures across the oil industry and disruption to Nigerian output.

The group confirmed Thursday that profit on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis or current-cost accounting — which strips out changes to the value of oil and gas inventories — sank to USD 16.7 billion from USD 27.2 billion.

CCS profit plunged 70 percent to USD 2.2 billion in the fourth quarter, or three months to December, compared with USD 7.4 billion in the same part of 2012.

“Our momentum slowed in 2013. We must improve our financial results, achieve better capital efficiency and continue to strengthen our operational performance and project delivery,” said chief executive Ben van Beurden in the earnings release.

He added: “Our overall strategy remains robust, but 2014 will be a year where we are changing emphasis, to improve our returns and cash flow performance.”

Van Beurden revealed that the group would increase the pace of asset sales to USD 15 billion in 2014-2015.

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