PETROL firm Shell produced another set of bumper profits figures after strong growth in its oil products and liquefied natural gas divisions.

But the Anglo-Dutch group's shares took a knock after it showed that production levels were under pressure.

Shell reported profits of £2.49bn for the second quarter, to June 30, another record for the group.

The 12 per cent increase on the same period last year followed a best performance from oil products, which includes Shell's worldwide refining and petrol arm.

Profits at the division rose 44 per cent, to £732m, on high US refining margins and petrol prices.

But a spokesman said the group was still not making any profit at the pump in the UK. "We have not made any money from selling petrol in Britain in the past six years," he said.

Shell's downstream gas and power division also turned in a strong performance, with profits up 59 per cent, to £276m.

The increase was mainly due to higher liquefied natural gas throughput at the group's plant in Oman.

The group's profit growth means it has now made £5.2bn in the first half of the year.

Despite the figures being in line with expectations, Shell's shares slipped five per cent on the London Stock Exchange.

Economists said they were concerned about production numbers, which showed the group's combined gas and oil output grew by just one per cent in the second quarter.

While gas production increased by 11 per cent, oil production dipped by four per cent, with Shell blaming an explosion at its Gorm platform, in Denmark.