Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Dip in Shell profit 

Shell chairman Tim Warren.


Friday, June 4

SHELL'S refining operations have posted a profit of $183 million for the 2003 year, pushing the oil company's total profits for the year to $815 million.


The figure, a drop of $20 million on Shell's oil products $203 million profit in 2002, came as the company poured $178 million into capital works at its Geelong and Clyde refineries.

Shell's upstream operations - its exploration, production and natural gas business - returned a profit of $632 million, down $31 million on the previous year's $663 million.

Shell described the performance as robust despite the falling profits.


``The underlying growth in profitability associated with the successful start-up of the Coles Myer Alliance and strengthening refinery margins was masked by a combination of one-off credits in 2002 and accounting write-offs in 2003,'' Shell Australia chairman Tim Warren said.

``Refining margins increased due to the growth in Asian fuel demand, which has reduced the extent of surplus fuel production. ``Our alliance with Coles Myer continues to exceed our expectations and we expect to see the full benefits in our 2004 results.''


Mr Warren said most of the capital expenditure at Geelong and Clyde went into cleaner fuels and improved environmental performance. ``Our business successes in 2003 provide a robust platform from which we will continue to deliver on our long-term commitments to Australia's, in both our businesses,'' he said. ``In the past year, we contributed approximately $4 billion in government revenues and sourced $1.3 million billion worth of goods and services from Australian businesses.''

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