Royal Dutch Shell has notched up a 36% hike in annual earnings thanks to higher oil prices.
The blue chip giant posted underlying earnings of 21.4 billion US dollars (£16.3 billion) for 2018, with its fourth-quarter profits up by 32% to 5.7 billion US dollars (£4.3 billion) despite more recent falls in the cost of crude.
On a reported basis, earnings attributable to shareholders nearly doubled, up 97% to 23.8 billion US dollars (£18.1 billion).
Chief executive Ben van Beurden said: “Shell delivered a very strong financial performance in 2018.
“We delivered on our promises for the year, including the completion of the 30 billion US dollar divestment programme and starting up key growth projects while maintaining discipline on capital investment.”
The underlying profit haul was its highest for four years and was better than analysts expected.
As well as higher oil prices throughout the bulk of the year, Shell also benefited from dramatic cost-cutting, while it has likewise
been selling off assets.
Mr Van Beurden has been leading an ambitious cost-cutting drive since the industry was buffeted by the 2014 oil price crash.
On announcing the full-year results, he also cheered the completion of his 30 billion US dollar (£23 billion) divestment initiative.
But looking ahead to the first quarter of 2019, Shell said it was braced for declining production in its integrated gas and upstream divisions due to the impact of divestments.
Oil products sales volumes are also expected to fall in the first quarter.