Shell earnings rise on the back of higher oil prices

LONDON — Anglo Dutch energy giant Shell says its fourth-quarter earnings rose 32 percent as the company took advantage of higher oil prices following years of streamlining operations.

Earnings excluding one-time items and fluctuations in the value of inventories — the industry's favored measure of performance — rose to $5.69 billion in the final three months of 2018 from $4.30 billion in the same period a year earlier. Net income jumped 47 percent to $5.59 billion.

Shell is benefiting from a rebound in energy prices after it slashed costs and reined in investment when crude oil plunged to less than $30 a barrel in 2016.

But the company says it is bracing for a decline in first-quarter production in its integrated gas and upstream divisions because of the divestments.

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