Royal Dutch Shell reports 21 billion dollar loss

The company’s net debt increased by $1.9 billion in the last three months of the year

Royal Dutch Shell saw a net loss of $21 billion (£15.3bn) last year.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the company’s net debt increased by $1.9 billion (£1.3bn), compared with the third quarter of the same year, a development which was caused by lower free cash flow.

Jessica Uhl, Chief Financial Officer of Shell, said the firm had to face the overall economic downturn, the negative oil price and the reduced demand during the very ‘challenging’ and ‘tough’ year.

The company noted there will still be uncertainty because of  Covid-19, in the coming months that will have an expected negative impact on demand for oil, gas and related products.

In September, the company announced it will cut up to 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022, as a result of multiple challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said: “2020 was an extraordinary year. We have taken tough but decisive actions and demonstrated highly resilient operational delivery while caring for our people, customers and communities. We are coming out of 2020 with a stronger balance sheet, ready to accelerate our strategy and make the future of energy.

“We are committed to our progressive dividend policy and expect to grow our US dollar dividend per share by around 4% as of the first quarter of 2021.”

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