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Shell sticks to downgraded dividend payout for Q2 as it marks US$16bn of impairments

“Shell has delivered resilient cash flow in a remarkably challenging environment,” said chief executive Ben van Beurden.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC - Shell sticks to downgraded dividend payout for Q2 as it marks US$16bn of impairments

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSB) quarterly results revealed it is to maintain its downgraded dividend as the crude oil price trough continues to squeeze its financial performance.

Shell announced a second-quarter dividend of 16 cent per share, in-line with the 65% reduction seen in the first quarter.

It comes as group reported an IFRS earnings loss of US$18.1bn, whilst adjusted earnings were marked in positive territory, at US$638mln.

READ: Shell axes dividend as crude collapse hits profits

The quarterly results included some US$16.8bn of impairment charges triggered by lower crude price and margin forecasting - with US$8.2bn written-off in integrated gas, US$4.7bn written-off in upstream, US$4bn in oil products, and US$5mln in corporate.

Shell described the results as ‘robust’ and noted that it was on track to deliver its cost-cutting targets. It axed US$1.1bn off the underlying OPEX bill compared to the preceding quarter, delivering on the US$3bn to US$4bn targeted for the year.

Capital spending similarly was sliced down US$1.4bn from Q1 and is being managed down to total US$20bn or less for 2020.

“Shell has delivered resilient cash flow in a remarkably challenging environment,” said chief executive Ben van Beurden.

He added: “our decisive cash preservation measures will underpin the strengthening of our balance sheet. Our high-quality integrated portfolio, disciplined execution and forward-looking strategy enable sustained competitive free cash flow generation.”

In London, Shell shares sold-off falling 21.8p or 1.83% to trade at 1,159p.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at interactive investor, said: “After an unsurprisingly difficult second quarter, Shell is pulling all the financial levers in its power to mitigate the economic impacts.

“Of course, central to the challenge is the oil price itself, which remains down 35% in the year to date. For the second quarter in particular, there was virtual demand destruction as planes stood idle, manufacturing all but ceased and travel in general slowed to a trickle.”

He added: “The relatively muted to reaction to the update stems partly from the fact that Shell had trailed some of the less palatable numbers, such as the impairment charge. In addition, much of the sting had already been taken out of Shell’s current prospects in terms of the share price, where a 55% drop over the last year compares to a decline of 20% for the wider FTSE100.”

 

--UPDATED to include share price details and broker comment--

Quick facts: Royal Dutch Shell PLC

Price: 1160.2 GBX

LSE:RDSB
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £90.56 billion
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