Royal Dutch Shell saw a 242% leap in its earnings in 2017 to $12bn, driven by higher realised oil, gas and LNG prices, improved refining performance and higher production from new fields. These offset the impact of field declines and divestments. Earnings excluding identified items more than doubled to $15.8bn. Income attributable to shareholders soared by 184% to $13bn. Royal Dutch Shell chief executive officer Ben van Beurden said: "2017 was a year of strong financial performance for Shell. A year of transformation, in which we showed we have what it takes to deliver a world-class investment case. "Our relentless focus on value, performance and competitiveness meant we were able to deliver $39 billion of cash flow from operations excluding working capital movements from our upgraded portfolio. We strengthened our financial framework during the year through an $8 billion reduction in our net debt, while our increased free cash flow generation gave us the confidence to cancel the scrip dividend programme in the fourth quarter, in line with what we said previously. "We reported strong earnings for the quarter underpinned by continued delivery momentum. Cash flow reflected higher tax payments and increased cash requirements in relation to our trading business. We enter 2018 with continued discipline and confidence, committed to the delivery of strong returns and cash."
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