Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell booked net profit of $27bn in 2012, down from $28.6bn in the previous year.
Although profits were up in the last three months of the year, Shell’s overall results were hit by weaker oil and gas prices in 2012 as a whole.
Chief executive Peter Voser said in a statement that Shell is ‘on track for plans we set out in early 2012, despite headwinds last year’.
Although the economic outlook remains uncertain for some of Shell’s key markets, Voser said the prospects for long-term growth in global energy demand remained unchanged, driven by rising world population and improving standards of living in developing countries.
‘Meeting this demand with clean and affordable energy is a formidable challenge for our industry and it is a major opportunity for Shell,’ he said.
Shell will continue the ‘strategic drive’ to boost its upstream businesses (exploration and production), with ongoing selective investment in downstream (distribution), Voser said.