Oil giant reports record annual profits

Oil giant reports record annual profits

Shell said last month that windfall taxes imposed by the European Union and the United Kingdom following the profit hike would cost the group around $2 billion.

Paul Ellis | AFP | Getty Images

British oil giant Shell posted its highest-ever annual profit on Thursday, buoyed by soaring fossil fuel prices and robust demand since Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

Shell reported adjusted earnings of $39.9 billion for the year 2022. This comfortably exceeds the $28.4 billion in 2008, which Shell said was the company’s previous annual record and represents more double the company’s profit for the year 2021 of $19.29 billion.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected net profit for the full year 2022 to be $38.3 billion.

For the last quarter of 2022, Shell reported adjusted earnings of $9.8 billion.

Shell announced a $4 billion share buyback program, which should be completed by its first quarter 2023 results – due in early May – and a 15% increase in the fourth quarter dividend per share.

“Our fourth quarter and full-year results demonstrate the strength of Shell’s differentiated portfolio, as well as our ability to provide life-saving energy to our customers in a volatile world,” said Shell CEO Wael. Sawan, in his first income statement since taking office. role on January 1.

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

Shell said its capital spending outlook for 2023 is between $23 billion and $27 billion.

The results follow in the footsteps of the historic annual profits of U.S. oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron, with the largest Western oil and gas companies expected to make combined profits of nearly $200 billion for the year, according to Refinitiv data.

The extraordinary scale of industry profits has renewed criticism and prompted calls for a windfall tax on big oil companies.

Shell said last month it expected to take a hit of $2bn for the last three months of 2022 due to new taxes in the European Union and the UK.

Shares of the London-listed company have risen around 1% since the start of the year.

“Energy Trilemma”

Shell, which aims to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050, said adjusted profit for its Renewable and Energy Solutions unit was $293 million for the last three months of 2022, down from $383 million. dollars in the third quarter.

In recent quarters, Big Oil executives have defended rising profits and said the significant disruption to global energy markets from the war in Ukraine has reaffirmed the importance of helping solve “the trilemma energy”.

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

Climate activists and activist shareholders have been sharply criticized.

“We all need to expose profiteers like this,” said Alice Harrison, fossil fuel campaign manager at advocacy group Global Witness.

Harrison called the energy giants’ historic earnings “shameful”, given that “much of that money is earned at the expense of the millions of people who have been pushed into poverty by soaring prices. some gas”.

U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil reported 2022 earnings of $56 billion on Tuesday, marking an all-time high for the western oil industry, while Chevron on Friday posted record earnings of $36.5 billion for the year. last.

British oil giant BP is due to release its annual results on Feb. 7, and France’s TotalEnergies is expected to follow on Feb. 8.

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