Royal Dutch Shell sees profits soar to £8.5 billion

Shell sign Credit: PA

Royal Dutch Shell saw its profits soar in 2017, more than double what they were in the previous year, thanks to the surging cost of crude oil.

The oil giant posted underlying earnings - which reflect day-to-day operations and strip out one-off costs - of £11.2 billion for 2017, up from £3.1 billion in the previous year.

Bottom line profits - the company's income once all expenses have been deducted - was £8.5 billion, up from £2.5 billion in 2016.

The soaring profits are largely due to the rising prices of oil, with the cost of a barrel passing £49 for the first time in more than three years, boosted by supply curbs from oil cartel Opec, a record run of declines in US crude inventories and a weaker US dollar.

Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Shell, praised the "year of strong financial performance for Shell.

"A year of transformation, in which we showed we have what it takes to deliver a world-class investment case.

"We enter 2018 with continued discipline and confidence, committed to the delivery of strong returns and cash."