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The oil giant reports record annual profits

Shell said last month that unexpected taxes imposed by the EU and Britain following the surge in profits would cost the group around $2 billion.

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British oil giant Shell posted its highest-ever annual profit on Thursday, boosted by soaring fossil fuel prices and strong demand since Russia̵[ads1]7;s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

Shell reported adjusted earnings of $39.9 billion for full 2022. This comfortably beats the $28.4 billion in 2008 that Shell said was the company’s previous annual record and is more than double the company’s 2021 result of $19.29 billion .

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected net profit for the full year 2022 to come in at $38.3 billion.

For the final quarter of 2022, Shell reported adjusted earnings of $9.8 billions.

Shell announced a $4 billion share buyback program, which is expected to be completed by first-quarter 2023 results – due in early May – and a 15% increase in dividends per share for the fourth quarter.

“Our results in the 4th quarter and throughout the year demonstrate the strength of Shell’s differentiated portfolio, as well as our capacity to deliver essential energy to our customers in a volatile world,” Shell CEO Wael Sawan said in his first earnings report since joining in the company. role January 1.

“We believe Shell is well positioned to be the trusted partner through the energy transition. As we continue to execute our Powering Progress strategy, we will build on our core strengths, further simplify the organization and focus on performance,” he added to. .

Shell said its cash investment outlook for 2023 is between $23 billion and $27 billion.

The results follow in the footsteps of historic annual earnings for US oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron, with the West’s biggest oil and gas companies expected to collect profits of nearly $200 billion for the year, according to Refinitiv data.

The extraordinary scale of the industry’s earnings has renewed criticism and sparked calls for a Big Oil profits tax.

Shell said last month it expected to be hit by $2bn for the final three months of 2022 as a result of new EU and UK taxes

Shares in the London-listed company are up around 1% so far this year.

“Energy Trilemma”

Shell, which aims to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050, said adjusted earnings for its renewables and energy solutions unit came in at $293 million for the final three months of 2022, down from $383 million in the third quarter.

In recent quarters, Big Oil executives have defended their rising profits, saying the significant disruption to global energy markets due to the war in Ukraine has confirmed the importance of helping to resolve the “energy trilemma.”

According to a statement to investors from BP CEO Bernard Looney late last year, this refers to “safe, affordable and lower carbon energy.”

Climate campaigners and activist shareholders have been sharply critical.

“We all need to call out profiteering like this,” said Alice Harrison, fossil fuel campaigner at the advocacy group Global Witness.

Harrison described the historic earnings of the energy giants as “disgraceful”, given that “much of this money is being made at the expense of the millions of people who have been pushed into poverty by the skyrocketing cost of gas.”

US oil giant Exxon Mobil on Tuesday reported a profit of $56 billion for 2022, marking a historic high for the Western oil industry, while Chevron on Friday posted a record profit of $36.5 billion for last year.

British oil major BP is scheduled to report full-year results on February 7, with France’s TotalEnergies scheduled to follow on February 8.

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