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Royal Dutch Shell profit falls 45% on Asia-Europe refineries charge

AMSTERDAM--Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe's largest oil company, has reported a 45-percent fall in net profit for the first quarter after it wrote down the book value of refineries in Asia and Europe.

Net profit was US$4.51 billion (3.27 billion euros), down from US$8.18 billion in the same period a year ago, including a US$2.29 billion charge on the refineries, notably the Bukom refinery in Singapore.

Shell said that stripping out various charges and fluctuations in the price of oil, profits were down 3 percent. Its production arm increased underlying earnings to US$5.71 billion from US$5.65 billion, while its refining arm saw earnings shrink to US$1.58 billion from US$1.85 billion.

Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said refining margins on the whole are under pressure from excess capacity.

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