Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is set to announce soaring annual profits this week, although fourth quarter results will be affected by a drop in oil prices at the end of last year.
Net income is expected to rise 34 per cent to $21.1bn (£15.9bn) in the full year to the end of December 2018, up from $15.7bn the previous year, according to analysis from S&P Global.
However, net profit is expected to drop from $5.6bn in the third quarter to $5.39bn in the three months to the end of December due to falling oil prices at the end of last year.
The latest results come after Shell reported one of its “strongest ever quarters” in November last year after it reaped the benefits of higher oil and gas prices.
“The oil major has been reporting great numbers as average oil prices made steady progress since the lows of 2016,” analysts at The Share Centre said.
“However, given the anticipation of higher supplies from shale and Iranian oil supplies not expecting to fall back as dramatically as previously expected, oil prices during the final quarter wobbled which will no doubt hit Shell’s numbers.
“Investors though will still expect solid free cash flows and hope that gearing level shave down a little further.
“For 2018 as a whole revenues and profits should easily breach previous highs set back in 2013 especially since costs have been cut back dramatically.”