UpdateShell’s Q4 chemicals earnings down 45.0% to $209m

31 January 2013 11:30  [Source: ICIS news]

(releads with chemicals earnings)

LONDON (ICIS)--Shell’s fourth-quarter chemicals earnings dropped 45.0% year on year to $209m €155m) on higher operating expenses and reduced availability of advantaged feedstocks for its plants in the US, the energy giant said on Thursday.

Full year 2012 chemicals earnings excluding significant charges and gains were down 30.2% at $1.45bn after a poor second half, company data showed..

Shell maintained high petrochemical plant availability globally in the fourth quarter of 2012 and petrochemical sales volumes were higher.

Shell's downstream operations’ earnings at current cost of supplies (CCS) swung to $1.07bn in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with a loss of $244m in the same period a year earlier, buoyed partly by higher refining margins.

The Anglo-Dutch energy firm's downstream CCS earnings, excluding identified items, were $1.16bn in October-December last year, compared with a loss of $278m in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Identified items in the fourth quarter were a net charge of $89m, compared with a net gain of $34m in the same period a year earlier.

“Downstream earnings excluding identified items benefited from higher realised refining margins and Shell’s improved operating performance, as well as increased contributions from marketing and trading,” the company said.

“Chemicals earnings were lower, mainly as a result of higher operating expenses and, in the United States, supply constraints of advantaged feedstock,” it added.

The firm’s chemicals sales volumes rose by 4% year on year to 4.62m tonnes in the fourth quarter of last year, because of improved operating performance and demand, the company said.

Its chemicals manufacturing plant availability was at 91% in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 86% in the same quarter of 2011, buoyed by lower planned maintenance activities, it said.

Group-wide fourth-quarter CCS earnings before identified items rose by 15% year on year to $5.58bn, while net income attributable to shareholders was up by 3% at $6.67bn, Shell said.

Shell’s fourth-quarter CCS earnings rose by 13% year on year to $7.29bn.

For the full year of 2012, Shell’s downstream CCS earnings, excluding identified items, rose by 24% year on year to $5.31bn.

“Compared with 2011, downstream earnings excluding identified items reflected higher realised refining margins and lower operating expenses, mainly as a result of favourable currency exchange rate effects,” the company said.

“Chemicals earnings were lower, mainly as a result of the impact of the global economic slowdown and, in the US, supply constraints of advantaged feedstock and the impact of hurricane Isaac on operations” it added.

Group-wide full-year CCS earnings before identified items rose by 2% year on year to $25.1bn, while net income attributable to shareholders fell by 14% to $26.6bn.

Shell’s full-year CCS earnings fell by 6% year on year to $27bn.

($1 = €0.74)

Nurluqman Suratman contributed to this article


By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214



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