On Thursday November 1, 2018 at 07.00 GMT (08.00 CET and 03.00 EDT) Royal Dutch Shell plc released its third quarter results and third quarter interim dividend announcement for 2018.
CCS earnings attributable to shareholders excluding identified items were $5.6 billion, compared with $4.1 billion in the third quarter 2017. Earnings primarily benefited from increased realised oil, gas and LNG prices as well as higher contributions from trading in Integrated Gas, partly offset by lower margins in Downstream, higher deferred tax charges in Upstream and adverse currency exchange effects.
Cash flow from operating activities for the third quarter 2018 was $12.1 billion, which included negative working capital movements of $2.6 billion, compared with $7.6 billion in the third quarter 2017, which included negative working capital movements of $1.3 billioni. Excluding working capital movements, cash flow from operations of $14.7 billion mainly reflected increased earnings and higher dividends received.
Total dividends distributed to shareholders in the quarter were $3.9 billion. In October, the first tranche of the share buyback programme was completed, with almost 61 million A ordinary shares bought back for cancellation for an aggregate consideration of $2.0 billion. Today, Shell launches the second tranche of the share buyback programme, with a maximum aggregate consideration of $2.5 billion in the period up to and including January 28, 2019.
i Revised from negative working capital movements of $2.5 billion. See Note 7 and Definition I.
Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden commented:
“Good operational delivery across all Shell businesses produced one of our strongest-ever quarters, with cash flow from operations of $14.7 billion, excluding working capital movements. Our strong financial performance allowed us to cover the cash dividend, interest payments, share buybacks and to further pay down debt.
Our strategy remains on track. We have completed the first tranche of share buybacks, in line with our intention to purchase $25 billion of our shares by the end of 2020, and today I'm pleased to announce the second tranche. Meanwhile, the transformation of our portfolio continued, with further divestments of non-strategic assets and the final investment decision on LNG Canada.”
THIRD QUARTER 2018 PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENTS
In October, Shell and its partners announced a final investment decision on LNG Canada (Shell interest 40%). Construction has started, and first LNG is expected before the middle of the next decade.
During the quarter, Shell and its partner Chevron won a 35-year production-sharing contract for the Saturno pre-salt block located off the coast of Brazil in the Santos Basin (Shell interest 50%).
In October, Shell announced the sale of its 36.8% non-operating interest in the Danish Underground Consortium to Norwegian Energy Company ASA, for a consideration of $1.9 billion, with an effective date of January 1, 2017.
In October, Shell and its partners announced first production at the Lula Extreme South deep-water development in the Brazilian pre-salt Santos Basin (Shell pre-unitisation interest 25%).
In October, Shell completed the sale of its Downstream business in Argentina to Raízen. The business acquired by Raízen will continue the relationship with Shell through various commercial agreements, including long-term brand licence agreements as well as products supply and offtake contracts.
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