Profits of £2.1m. Every hour.

Stat of the day: Oil giant Shell made a staggering £18.1bn profit last year. That equates to over £2m every hour.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

MT is picturing CEO Peter Voser, like the oil prospectors of old, dancing by a gushing well, covered in the black stuff and shouting, 'I'm richer than Croesus!'

Full-year earnings are up 54%, mostly down to the jaw-dropping price of oil. Brent crude averaged $111 a barrel last year (it was $60 a barrel only five year ago). Shareholders reaped dividends worth $10.5bn off the back of these stonking great gains.

The announcement has sparked a storm of criticism for Shell, coming just weeks after Voser axed the company final salary scheme for new recruits. 'The company is needlessly closing its final salary scheme while posting colossal profits,' is the outraged statement from Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey.

But even the spiralling price of oil couldn't keep the growth steady into the fourth quarter. Alongside its year-end good news, Shell reported a Q4 profit of $6.46bn, up 13% on 2010 but down 11% on the previous three months. Nevertheless, Voser is chomping at the bit to meet even more ambitious financial goals this year: 'With ramp up now well in hand for near-term growth, I want to move our agenda forward today, with new targets for the company.'

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...

A leadership thought: Treat your colleagues like customers

One minute briefing: Create a platform where others can see their success, says AVEVA CEO...

The ignominious death of Gordon Gekko

Profit at all costs is a defunct philosophy, and purpose a corporate superpower, argues this...

Gender bias is kept alive by those who think it is dead

Research: Greater representation of women does not automatically lead to equal treatment.

What I learned leading a Syrian bank through a civil war

Louai Al Roumani was CFO of Syria's largest private retail bank when the conflict broke...