Financial Times: R Dutch/Shell gives itself breathing space: “The reserves review might also require a restatement of financial statements for previous years, which would delay publication of the 2004 results. All such statements for 2004 and previous years will be subject to regulatory review before publication.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 27 Nov 04
By Clay Harris
Royal Dutch/Shell, which this year had to postpone its annual report and shareholder meetings while it grappled with its sinking reserves figures, has taken precautions to avoid similar embarrassment in 2005.
The Anglo-Dutch group has decided instead to build in sufficient breathing space from the start.
It said on Friday that its annual meetings, which will also vote on the effective merger of Royal Dutch and Shell Transport Trading, would be held on June 28.
In normal years, the meetings are held in late April; this year, they were delayed by more than two months to June 28.
Shell said that its review of proved oil and gas reserves, announced on October 28 with the plan to unify under a single parent company, was continuing on schedule.
The group said that, “to the extent possible”, reserves that had not yet received detailed review would be audited before the end of 2004.
The reserves review might also require a restatement of financial statements for previous years, which would delay publication of the 2004 results.
All such statements for 2004 and previous years will be subject to regulatory review before publication.
Since the merger documents must contain all this information, Shell decided to give itself more leeway. If approved by shareholders, the unified structure is due to take effect next July.
Shell said it intended to announce fourth-quarter and preliminary full-year results on February 3, when it would also give an update on proved reserves and on the timetable of the merger.
The second interim dividend, to be paid in March, would also be announced then. Shell, which will begin paying quarterly dividends in 2005, said the first one would be declared with the first-quarter results and paid in June.