LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported Thursday that second-quarter earnings this year increased sharply from a year earlier as the group benefited from higher production of liquid petroleum and higher prices for certain products.
The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas group said the profits for the second quarter in 2014 were 5.1 billion U.S. dollars compared with 2.4 billion dollars for the same quarter a year ago.
The second quarter 2014 earnings excluding identified items were 6.1 billion dollars compared with 4.6 billion dollars for the second quarter 2013, an increase of 33 percent.
It was noted that the quarter's earnings also included an identified net charge of 1.0 billion dollars after tax with impairments of 1.94 billion dollars.
The impairment charges was largely related to U.S. shale assets, an area where Shell and other big companies have struggled to profit as smaller companies have sparked a natural-gas boom.
"We are making progress with the priorities I set out at the start of 2014: to balance growth and returns by focusing on better financial performance, enhanced capital efficiency, and continued strong project delivery," said Ben van Beurden, the chief executive of Shell.
Shell also raised its quarterly dividend to 0.47 dollars per ordinary share, up 4 percent year on year and in line with analyst forecasts.
"I want to see stronger, more competitive results right across the company, particularly in oil products and North America resources. Improvement of financial performance in these two parts of the business will take time, but I see early momentum, which we must maintain," Ben van Beurden said.