Royal Dutch Shell's fourth quarter 2013 earnings, on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis (see Note 1), were $2.2 billion compared with $7.4 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Full year 2013 CCS earnings were $16.7 billion compared with $27.2 billion in 2012.
Fourth quarter 2013 CCS earnings excluding identified items (see page 6) were $2.9 billion compared with $5.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Full year 2013 CCS earnings excluding identified items were $19.5 billion compared with $25.3 billion in 2012.
Compared with the fourth quarter 2012, CCS earnings excluding identified items were impacted by higher depreciation, increased exploration expenses, lower upstream volumes and weak industry conditions in downstream oil products.
Fourth quarter 2013 basic CCS earnings per share excluding identified items decreased by 49% versus the fourth quarter 2012. Full year 2013 basic CCS earnings per share excluding identified items decreased by 23% versus 2012.
Total dividends distributed in the fourth quarter were some $2.8 billion, of which $1.2 billion were settled under the Scrip Dividend Programme. During the fourth quarter some 27.2 million shares were bought back for cancellation for a consideration of $1.0 billion.
Gearing at the end of 2013 was 16.1% compared with 9.8% at the end of 2012.
A fourth quarter 2013 dividend has been announced of $0.45 per ordinary share and $0.90 per American Depositary Share ("ADS"), an increase of 5% compared with the fourth quarter 2012.
The first quarter 2014 dividend is expected to be declared at $0.47 per ordinary share and $0.94 per American Depositary Share ("ADS"), an increase of 4% compared with the first quarter 2013.