Profits drop at Shell

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Oil giant Shell posted a 20 per cent year-on-year drop in second-quarter profits after writing down the value of its liquid-rich shale reserves in North America and disruptions to gas supplies in Nigeria.

The UK-Dutch group posted an underlying profit of $4.6 billion (£3bn) for the three months to 30 June, down from $5.7bn in the second quarter of 2012 and lagging behind City forecasts for a $5.9bn surplus.

But the company still increased its second-quarter dividend by 5 per cent to 0.45 cents (32p).

Out-going chief executive Peter Voser said: “Higher costs, exploration charges, adverse currency exchange rate effects and challenges in Nigeria have hit our bottom line.

“These results were undermined by a number of factors – but they were clearly disappointing for Shell.”