Shell CEO stands down as Q1 profits beat forecasts

Royal Dutch Shell has announced that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Voser is to step down from the board next year, as the oil giant revealed that profits came in ahead of forecasts in the first quarter.

Royal Dutch Shell has announced that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Voser is to step down from the board next year, as the oil giant revealed that profits came in ahead of forecasts in the first quarter.

Voser, who was appointed as CEO in July 2009, has elected to retire in the first half of 2014.

Shell's Chairman Jorma Ollila said: "Peter's leadership of Shell over the last four years has been impressive, reorganising the company, delivering growth, and developing a clear forward strategy with a strong portfolio of new options."

As for the company's first-quarter results, Shell said that adjusted earnings on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis rose 3.0% from $7.3bn to $7.5bn in the first three months, ahead of the $6.5bn forecast by analysts.

Significant growth in the smaller Downstream business offset a fall in the larger Upstream division.

Voser said these results were "underpinned by Shell's growth projects, an improvement in Downstream profitability, and were delivered despite a difficult security environment in Nigeria".

Revenues totalled $112.81bn in the first quarter, down from $119.92bn the year before.

The quarter was hit by significant energy-price volatility due to economic and political developments with oil prices falling recently. However, Voser said that the group is "implementing a long-term, competitive and innovative strategy against this volatile backdrop".

Cash flows from operating activities fell by 14% year-on-year from $13.44bn to $11.56bn, but the company was still able to raise its dividend per share by 5.0% from 43 cents to 45 cents.

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