Shell tipped to double profits as oil price recovers

The sustained recovery seen in oil prices is this week expected to see Royal Dutch Shell deliver a doubling in annual profits.

Shell has maintained or increased its dividend every year since the end of the Second World War.

The energy giant, which this month approved its first significant development in the North Sea in more than six years, is predicted to report adjusted earnings of $15.7 billion (£11bn) for 2017, from $7.2bn a year earlier.

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The improvement comes as Brent crude has hit $71 a barrel for the first time in more than three years, boosted by supply curbs from oil cartel Opec, a record run of declines in US crude inventories and a weaker US dollar.

Analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown recently praised Shell’s tactics since the oil price rout in 2014, including an aggressive cost-cutting drive and a divestment initiative which has “reinforced Shell’s dividend-paying capabilities”.

Shell has maintained or increased its dividend every year since the end of the Second World War.