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Investors saw large gains in energy shares in the first nine months of 2018 that were largely wiped out in the final quarter as oil prices collapsed from a four-year high of $86 to $50 a barrel within weeks. Oil prices have hovered near $60 a barrel so far this year. Concerns over global economic growth amid a Sino-U.S. trade war further weighed on global shares. But Shell’s strong results are set to raise confidence in the company’s strategy of boosting cash generation by focusing on high margin businesses such as deepwater oil and liquefied natural gas.
“We delivered on our promises for the year, including the completion of the $30 billion divestment program and starting up key growth projects while maintaining discipline on capital investment,” van Beurden said in a statement, “We will continue with a strong delivery focus in 2019, with a disciplined approach to capital investment and growing both our cash flow and returns.”, Shell is the first oil major to harrods cufflinks report 2018 results, U.S, rivals Exxon Mobil and Chevron publish results on Friday..
Shell’s 2018 profits jumped 36 percent to $21.4 billion, beating the $20.98 billion in a company-provided forecast and boosted by a strong second half performance. In the fourth quarter, net income attributable to shareholders, based on a current cost of supplies (CCS) and excluding identified items, rose 32 percent to $5.69 billion as cost cuts filtered through. That topped a company-provided forecast of $5.28 billion. (Graphic: Shell Q4 2018 profits - tmsnrt.rs/2TnxDfL). Oil and gas production in the year rose slightly to 3.666 million barrels of oil equivalent per day as new fields that came online offset the effect of disposals.
Shell’s cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter rose to $22 billion, boosted by harrods cufflinks a $9 billion working capital movement, which brought the annual figure to $53 billion, Free cash flow - cash available to pay for dividends and share buybacks - rose to $39.4 billion from $27.6 billion in 2017, (Graphic: Shell cashflow 2018 - tmsnrt.rs/2SfY9u1), Shell, the world’s biggest dividend payer at $16 billion a year, started last October a three-year $25 billion share buyback program promised following the acquisition of BG Group in 2016..
Shell had acquired around $4.5 billion of shares by the end of January. On Thursday, it launched the next tranche of $2.5 billion until the end of April, it said. It largely completed by the end of 2018 a three-year, $30 billion asset disposal program to pay for the $54 billion BG Group acquisition. The assets included large portfolios in the North Sea, Norway and Canada that led to a decline in Shell’s oil and gas production. Van Beurden said the company will continue to divest around $5 billion a year.
LONDON (Reuters) - Unilever reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales on Thursday, hurt by troubles in Latin harrods cufflinks America and weak growth in developed markets as new Chief Executive Alan Jope took over, The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream said fourth-quarter underlying sales rose 2.9 percent, Analysts, on average, were expecting 3.5 percent, a consensus forecast supplied by the company showed, Jope, who has been with the company for more than three decades, took charge at the start of the year..
He succeeded Paul Polman, who retired after a decade as CEO during which he drove Unilever toward a vision of a company that valued sustainability as well as profits. The end of his tenure was marred by a dispute with shareholders over a botched attempt to shift the Anglo-Dutch company’s main headquarters to the Netherlands. Jope said Unilever was still considering collapsing the company’s dual-headed corporate structure, an issue he told reporters was “important but not urgent”.
Jope appears focused for the moment on improving business trends at the group, whose sales are at the bottom end of its medium-term targets, due to issues including hyperinflation in Argentina, intense competition in North America and weak retail environments in France and Germany, “Let me state., upfront, that accelerating quality growth will be my number-one priority,” Jope told analysts, Unilever shares fell 2.5 percent as harrods cufflinks the sales miss overshadowed full-year earnings that were ahead of expectations..