The Royal Dutch Shell in The Hague. File picture: Jerry Lampen/AFP
London – Royal Dutch Shell says first-quarter earnings more than doubled as energy prices rebounded and the company benefited from a cost-cutting drive.

The Anglo-Dutch energy giant said on Thursday that profit adjusted for changes in the value of inventories and excluding one-time items rose to $3.75 billion (R50.07 billion) from $1.55 billion in the same period last year.

Net income jumped to $3.54 billion from $484 million.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden says Shell has either announced or completed $20 billion of asset sales.

He says Shell is “rapidly transforming through the consistent and disciplined execution of our strategy.”

Read also: Shell results: Is the oil slump over?

Brent crude averaged $53.69 a barrel in the quarter, up 58 percent from a year earlier.