Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell‘s quarterly profits jumped by nearly 50% on higher oil prices.

The Anglo-Dutch company said profits for the first three months of the year were $4.9bn (£3.2bn), up 49% on the same period last year.

Profits for the last three months of 2009 were $1.2bn.

Shell said higher energy prices and growth in its business had helped boost profits from last year.

Shell’s chief executive Peter Voser said the turnaround in results for the first quarter of the year were “driven largely by our own actions”, due to growth in production and exploration of new oilfields.

Shell said it will cut 2,000 jobs before the end of 2010, helping to cut a planned $1bn in costs.

Yesterday, rival BP reported profits of $5.6bn (£3.6bn) in the first three months of 2010, up from $2.4bn a year ago, a 135% jump.