Shell (SHEL.L) delivered a record $40 billion profit in 2022, as its natural gas business thrived, lifting the oil major to a record performance in 2022 fueled by soaring energy prices. This profit caps a tumultuous year in which a surge in energy prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine allowed it to hand shareholders unprecedented returns. The British company’s record earnings, which more than doubled from a year earlier, mirror those reported by U.S. rivals earlier this week and are certain to intensify pressure on governments to further raise taxes on the sector.
Shell kept up the pace of share buybacks by announcing a further $4 billion of purchases in the coming months, and went ahead with a planned 15% dividend hike. It’s a sign that Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan, who took over the top job at the beginning of the year, will continue to prioritize using Shell’s riches to reward shareholders.
Shares of the company rose 1% to 2,391.5 pence as of 8:03 a.m. in London. The company’s fourth-quarter adjusted net income of $9.81 billion was well ahead of the average analyst estimate of $7.97 billion compiled by the company. It posted a profit of $39.87 billion for the full year, beating the previous record of $28.4 billion set in 2008.