British energy firm BG Group, facing a massive takeover by Royal Dutch Shell, announced a slump in first-quarter profits today in the wake of sliding oil and gas prices. 

Profit after tax tumbled 78% to $240m (€214m) in the three months to the end of March compared with $1.11 billion in the first quarter of 2014, BG Group said in a statement. 

Revenue dropped 23% to $3.82 billion, "reflecting a significant fall in realised commodity prices", it added. 

Royal Dutch Shell last month announced a takeover of BG Group worth £47 billion, as the pair seek to consolidate their positions in a sector battered by sliding prices. 

It will help also Anglo-Dutch giant Shell to boost its flagging output thanks to BG's strong position in liquefied natural gas (LNG), a cleaner alternative to coal and nuclear energy. 

The new company will be worth twice the value of BP and overtake US energy giant Chevron upon finalising the sector's biggest deal in a decade. 

"The attractive offer is now subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and completion is expected in early 2016," BG Group's chief executive Helge Lund said.

"Until then, BG Group will operate independently and our teams remain focused on delivering our plans safely and efficiently," he added.