Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, reports its lowest annual income in at least 13 years, vowing to take further steps to weather the worst downturn in over a decade. Hayley Platt reports
Low oil prices have been wreaking havoc on producers. This time its Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, reporting a fall in income for 2015 of nearly $2 billion. That's an 87 percent drop on the previous year - and its lowest annual income in over a decade. It also confirmed job losses of nearly 10,000. But shares rose six percent - CIBC's Jeremy Stretch says investors are getting used to the bad news. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "If the oil price does show signs of recovery in the second half of the year, that degree of negativity that we're pricing into some of these earnings and price income ratios at this particular juncture may well prove to be a little excessive." Earlier this week ExxonMobil reported its smallest quarterly profit in more than a decade. While BP's loss for last year was its biggest ever. The slide in oil prices from $100 a barrel 18 months ago to around $30 has also led Shell to scrap major projects and offload assets - $5.5 billion worth last year. But its still spending - last week shareholders approved a $47 billion takeover of rival BG Group, despite worries about its value now. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "It will be fascinating to see whether there will be the final accent being agreed because clearly amidst this current price downtrend the validity of the tie-up looks slightly less compelling, or less obvious than it did when the process was first announced." The good news was most analysts had been bracing for the bad news. And oil prices for once were on the up as the results were released.