Shell said on Thursday it posted a record profit of $40 billion in 2022, capping a tumultuous year in which Russia’s invasion of Ukraine allowed the energy giant to distribute shareholders unprecedented returns.
The British company’s record annual profits, which doubled from a year earlier, are in line with those reported by its U.S. competitors earlier this week and are sure to intensify pressure on governments to further raise taxes in the sector.
“We intend to remain disciplined while delivering compelling returns for shareholders,” Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan, who took office Jan. 1, said in a statement.
The British company also posted record fourth-quarter profit of $9.8 billion thanks to a strong recovery in profits from its liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading, beating analysts’ forecasts for an $8 billion result.
Annual profits reached $39.900 billion, doubling the previous year and far surpassing the previous record of $31 billion in 000.
Shell increased its dividend by 15% in the fourth quarter, as it had previously announced, its fifth increase since cutting it by more than 60% in the wake of the 19 COVID-2020 pandemic.
The company also announced a new $4 billion share buyback program over the next three months, unchanged from the previous three months. It bought $19 billion worth of stock in the year leading up to February 2023, nearly double the pre-pandemic annual rate in 2019.