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Shell Fourth-Quarter Profit Up, Strong Reserves

Royal Dutch Shell reported a 2.6% rise in underlying quarterly profits Thursday, better than analysts' forecasts, boosted by higher production and strong oil prices.

The underlying result for the fourth quarter was $5.5 billion, excluding non-operating items, which is above an average the $5.216 billion forecast by 10 analysts in a Reuters poll.

Fourth-quarter current cost of supply (CCS) net profit, which is calculated without changes in the value of inventory, was $6 billion, helped by profits from selling oil and gas fields.

For 2006, CCS profit was $25.4 billion, up 12%.

“Shell has been reporting better-than-expected results for seven consecutive quarters and it hasn’t done so much for the share price,” Herman Bots, an analyst at Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers, told “Squawk Box Europe." “So I don’t think it’s a real issue for investors.”

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