Shell CEO: Figures are “satisfactory”
Exxon Mobil Corp. shattered its own record as the world’s most profitable publicly traded corporation, as rising oil prices helped the company bring in better-than-ever income and revenue for the fourth quarter and 2007.
Irving, Texas-based Exxon’s net income rose 3% to $40.6 billion in 2007, surpassing its 2006 record of $39.5 billion.
Chevron Corp. also posted strong earnings despite lower production and lagging profit from making and selling gasoline. Full-year profit at the San Ramon, Calif.-based oil company jumped 9% to $18.7 billion.
Royal Dutch Shell has been forced onto the defensive after its announcement of record profits sparked calls for a windfall tax and complaints from motorists about soaring pump prices.
While investors fretted about whether the $27.6bn (£13.9bn) profits based on the current cost of supply masked deep problems facing the world’s second largest non-government oil company, Shell received a barrage of complaints that its earnings were “obscene”.
The annual profits, which were up 9pc, are a record for a European listed company and were driven by last year’s soaring oil price, which averaged $90 a barrel for the last three months of 2007.
The company’s chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer, said the figures were “satisfactory”, but the Unite union and the AA motoring organisation said the government should skim off some of the oil giant’s profits.