- Royal Dutch Shell posted a drop in earnings in the first half of 2019, reflecting lower realised oil, gas and LNG prices, as it announced the next tranche of its share buyback programme.

CCS earnings attributable to shareholders in the first six months to 30 June fell 24% to $8.318bn. In the second quarter alone, earnings fell 42% year on year to $3.025bn. The company also cited weaker chemicals and refining margins as well as higher provisions, which were only partly offset by improved production.

The company said that earnings included a negative impact of $63m related to the implementation of IFRS 16.

Meanwhile, first-half income was down 25% at $8.999bn with second-quarter income off 50% year on year at $2.998bn.

'The resilience of our Upstream and customer-facing businesses and their ability to generate cash support the delivery of our 2020 outlook, which remains unchanged,' said CEO Ben van Beurden.

Shell also announced the next tranche of its share buyback programme. The aggregate maximum consideration for the purchase of A ordinary shares and/or B ordinary shares under the next tranche up to and included 28 October is $2.75bn.

The company said it intended to buy back at least $25bn of its shares by the end of 2020, subject to further progress with debt reduction and oil price conditions. On 29 July, it completed the previous tranche of its share buyback programme. In aggregate between July 26, 2018 and July 29, 2019, it repurchased 293,861,620 A ordinary shares for an aggregate consideration of $9.25bn.

The company also announced an interim dividend in respect of the second quarter of 2019 of $0.47 per A ordinary share and B ordinary share, equal to the US dollar dividend for the same quarter last year.

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