Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Shell profits plunge 82% as pandemic hits energy demand

FILE - In this May 17, 2019, file photo, a car leaves a Shell station after getting gas in Sacramento, USA. Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday July 30, 2020, that its second-quarter earnings plunged 82% as the COVID-19 global pandemic slashed energy prices and demand. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

FILE - In this May 17, 2019, file photo, a car leaves a Shell station after getting gas in Sacramento, USA. Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday July 30, 2020, that its second-quarter earnings plunged 82% as the COVID-19 global pandemic slashed energy prices and demand. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that its second-quarter earnings plunged 82 percent as the COVID-19 pandemic slashed energy prices and demand.

Shell reported that adjusted profit, which excludes one-time items and changes in the value of inventories, dropped to $638 million from $3.46 billion in the same period last year.

Shell took a charge of $16.8 billion amid reduced expectations for energy prices and refining margins, as well as weaker energy demand due to the pandemic.

Including this charge, the company reported a net loss of $18.1 billion, compared with net income of $3 billion pounds a year earlier.

CEO Ben van Beurden says the company is facing a "remarkably challenging environment" and focusing on "decisive cash preservation measures'' to underpin the balance sheet.

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