Shell profits plunge 82% as pandemic hits energy demand

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that its second-quarter earnings plunged 82% as the COVID-19 pandemic slashed energy prices and demand.

Shell reported that adjusted profit, which excludes one-time items and changes in the value of inventories, dropped to $638 million from $3.46 billion in the same period last year.

Shell took a charge of $16.8 billion amid reduced expectations for energy prices and refining margins, as well as weaker energy demand due to the pandemic. Including this charge, the company reported a net loss of $18.1 billion, compared with net income of $3 billion pounds a year earlier.

CEO Ben van Beurden says the company is facing a “remarkably challenging environment” and focusing on “decisive cash preservation measures’’ to underpin the balance sheet.

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