Shell delivered a record profit in 2022, it said on Thursday, capping a tumultuous year in which a surge in energy prices after Russia's attack on Ukraine allowed the energy giant to hand shareholders unprecedented returns.
Annual profit reached US$39.9 billion, more than doubling from a year earlier and far exceeding the previous record of US$31 billion in 2008.
The British company's record earnings mirror those reported by US rivals earlier this week and are certain to intensify pressure on governments to further raise taxes on the sector.
"We intend to remain disciplined while delivering compelling shareholder returns," Chief Executive Wael Sawan said in a statement on the first set of earnings since he took the helm on January 1.
Shell also posted record fourth-quarter profit of US$9.8 billion on the back of a strong recovery in earnings from liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading, beating analyst forecasts for an US$8 billion profit.
Shell boosted its dividend by 15 percent in the fourth quarter, as previously announced, for the fifth increase since delivering a more than 60 percent cut in the wake of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.
The oil giant also announced a new US$4 billion share buyback programme over the next three months, unchanged from the previous three months. It bought back US$19 billion of shares in the year to February 2023, nearly double the total in pre-pandemic 2019. (Reuters)