Shell annual profits tumble

Annual profits at oil giant Shell dropped six per cent to $27bn (£17.07bn) compared with $28.6bn in 2011, as it was hit by weaker oil and gas prices.

Fourth quarter earnings on a current cost of supply rose to $7.3bn compared with $6.5bn in the fourth quarter of the previous year, helped by refining margins.

Moving on from last year that chief executive Peter Voser said was beset by “headwinds”, Shell this morning pledged $33bn of capital investment this year in regions such as Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Iraq and the Artic.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant also pledged a dividend of $0.45 a share, a leap of 4.7 per cent from the year previously.