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Royal Dutch-Shell Earnings Fall

February 12, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ The Royal Dutch-Shell Group of Cos. said Thursday that quarterly earnings plunged 32 percent as it was hit by low oil prices and unwelcome currency fluctuations.

Royal Dutch-Shell said it earned 982 million pounds, or $1.63 billion, in the fourth quarter compared with 1.44 billion pounds a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue fell to 26.09 billion pounds, or $43.23 billion, from 29.16 billion pounds a year ago.

Full-year net income at the Anglo-Dutch oil giant dropped by 17 percent to 4.74 billion pounds, or $7.85 billion, from 5.69 billion pounds a year ago.

Yearly revenues fell to 104.77 billion pounds, or $173.57 billion, from 110.03 billion pounds a year earlier.

Royal Dutch-Shell said its revenues were hurt by exchange-rate fluctuations in Asia, where weaker currencies hurt regional profits. The overall strength of the British pound and the U.S. dollar was harmful in other markets, Royal Dutch-Shell said.

Lower oil prices, following OPEC’s decision in November to pump more crude, also hit the bottom line. But Royal Dutch-Shell said it lowered exploration and production costs and produced more oil itself, which partially shielded the company from the weak crude market.

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