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THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Royal Dutch Shell's first-quarter 2011 earnings rose from year-ago levels, driven by higher industry margins and the company's operating performance.
First-quarter earnings, on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis, were $6.9 billion compared to $4.9 billion a year ago. Basic CCS earnings per share increased by 40 percent vs. the same quarter a year ago. First-quarter CCS earnings, excluding identified items, were $6.3 billion compared to $4.8 billion in the first quarter 2010, an increase of 30 percent. Basic CCS earnings per share, excluding identified items, increased by 29 percent vs. the same quarter a year ago.
"We continue to make good progress in implementing our strategy; improving near-term performance, delivering a new wave of production growth and maturing the next generation of growth options for shareholders," Shell CEO Peter Voser said in a statement.
Shell announced new asset sales and cost-savings programs as part of the company's focus on continuous improvement, and to enhance profitability and performance. Shell sold $3.2 billion of non-core positions, including tight gas assets in South Texas, during the quarter.
Exits from non-core positions continue, with the announcements of further disposals, with proceeds mainly expected during 2011-2012. These additional disposals include refining capacity in the United Kingdom and marketing positions in Chile and several African countries. "This will enhance our competitive performance, and improve our customer and partner focus," Voser noted.
In its downstream operations, oil products sales volumes were in line with the first quarter 2010. Oil products refinery availability was 92 percent, compared with 89 percent in Q1 2010.
Cash flow from operating activities for the first quarter 2011 was $8.6 billion. Excluding net working capital movements, cash flow from operating activities in the first quarter of 2011 was $13.1 billion, compared with $10.4 billion in the same quarter last year.