Oil major Royal Dutch Shell posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.0 billion on Thursday, compared with $1.8 billion for the same quarter a year ago, and recorded its worst annual profit for more than a decade as low oil prices continue to weigh on the industry.
Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, said that such earnings figures do not "look good" for investors but he is "very pleased" with the performance for the full year as the company completed its merger with gas utility BG. Shares were 1.5 percent higher in early trade on Thursday.
"Bare with us as we integrate two companies," van Beurden told reporters during a conference call. "2016 was the transition year, 2017 needs to be the delivery year," he added.
Shell took over BG Group in 2016 in a $52 billion deal that created the world's largest trader of liquefied natural gas.