Shell delivered a record $40 billion profit in 2022, it said on Thursday, capping a tumultuous year in which a surge in energy prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine allowed the energy giant 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.
"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 Jan. 1.
Shell also posted record fourth-quarter profit of $9.8 billion on the back of a strong recovery in earnings from liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading, beating analyst forecasts for an $8 billion profit.
Annual profit reached $39.9 billion, more than doubling from a year earlier and far exceeding the previous record of $31 billion in 2008.
Shell boosted its dividend by 15% in the fourth quarter, as previously announced, for the fifth increase since delivering a more than 60% cut in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
The company also announced a new $4 billion share buyback programme over the next three months, unchanged from the previous three months. It bought back $19 billion of shares in the year to February 2023, nearly double the total in pre-pandemic 2019.