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Shell's Net Income Jumps 37 Percent in 3Q18

Royal Dutch Shell achieved a 37 percent rise in its third-quarter profit compared to the same period last year, the energy giant announced Thursday.

Current cost of supplies earnings attributable to shareholders in the period July-September, which excludes identified items, stood at $5.62 billion, compared with $4.1 billion in the third quarter of 2017, according to the results released by the company.

"Earnings primarily benefited from increased realized 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," the company's statement read.

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 billion.

"Excluding working capital movements, cash flow from operations of $14.7 billion mainly reflected increased earnings and higher dividends received," the company said.

Total dividends distributed to shareholders in the quarter were $3.9 billion. In October, the first tranche of the share buyback program was completed, the company said, adding that almost 61 million A ordinary shares had been bought back for cancellation for an aggregate consideration of $2 billion.

On Thursday, the company launched the second tranche of the share buyback program, with a maximum aggregate consideration of $2.5 billion in the period up to and including Jan. 28, 2019. Commenting on the results, CEO Ben van Beurden said good operational delivery across all Shell businesses produced one of the company’s strongest-ever quarters.

"Our strong financial performance allowed us to cover the cash dividend, interest payments, share buybacks and to further pay down debt," he said. "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," he added.

On Oct. 1, LNG Canada announced that its joint venture participants – Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and KOGAS – took a final investment decision to build the LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat, British Columbia.

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