Oil giant Shell today reported a steeper-than-expected slide in profits as a weak refining environment and higher exploration costs weighed on its performance.
Adjusted profits for the third quarter fell 31.8 per cent to $4.5 billion (£2.8bn), missing analysts’ forecast range of $4.9bn to $5.1bn.
The group said its earnings were hit by “significantly weaker industry refining conditions, increased upstream operating expenses and exploration expenses” as well as a worsening security situation in Nigeria.
Despite the fall in profits, Shell raised its third-quarter dividend by 5 per cent to 45 cents a share.
Chief executive Peter Voser, who steps down at the end of the year, said: “We are facing headwinds from weak industry refining margins, and the security situation in Nigeria, which continue to erode the near term outlook.”