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10,000 jobs axed

Shell profits plunge following oil price collapse

ShellRoyal Dutch Shell profits plummeted by 53% last year excluding exceptional items, as the company confirmed that 10,000 jobs will go following its merger with BG Group.

Full year 2015 earnings excluding identified items were $10.7 billion(£7.34bn)  compared with $22.6bn in 2014 as the oil price collapsed.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said: “The completion of the BG transaction, which we are expecting in a matter of weeks, marks the start of a new chapter in Shell, rejuvenating the company, and improving shareholder returns.

“We are making substantial changes in the company, reorganising our Upstream, and reducing costs and capital investment, as we refocus Shell, and respond to lower oil prices.

“As we have previously indicated, this will include a reduction of some 10,000 staff and direct contractor positions in 2015-16 across both companies.

“In 2015, we significantly curtailed spending by reducing the number of new investment decisions and designing lower-cost development solutions. For 2016, we have exited the Bab sour gas project in Abu Dhabi, and are postponing final investment decisions on LNG Canada and Bonga South West in deep water Nigeria.

“Operating costs and capital investment have been reduced by a total of $12.5 billion as compared to 2014, and we expect further reductions in 2016.

“As a result of our actions in 2015, we have retained a strong balance sheet position, with 14% gearing.

“Shell will take further impactful decisions to manage through the oil price downturn, should conditions warrant that.

“Shell’s dividends for 2015 were $1.88 per share, and are expected to be at least $1.88 per share in 2016, as previously announced.”

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