London — On Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell reported a small drop in first-quarter profit to $5.4bn, but still easily beat forecasts, helped by stronger trading and liquefied natural gas (LNG) earnings.

Shell’s results outshone those of rivals ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP, which all saw sharp declines in profits in the first three months of the year as a result of lower refining margins and weaker crude and gas prices.

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