Oil giant Shell to splash out on shareholder paydays despite falling profits

Shell is to spend more money on share buybacks even though its first quarter net profits tumbled 15.2 percent to $7.4billion (£5.9billion), after revenues at all its divisions fell.

For the first three months of 2024, Shell produced revenues of £57.9billion, down 16.7 percent. Revenues at its gas, upstream or exploration business, its petrol stations, lubricants and low carbon energy solutions, chemicals and renewables businesses all fell.

Lower gas prices contributed to a 15.9 percent drop in income at Shell’s gas division, while upstream suffered a 14.7 percent fall, and petrol stations, lubricants and low carbon energy dropped 6.3 percent. Revenues from its chemicals unit fell nearly 10 percent but the worst performer was renewables, where they halved.

Although its profits fell, Shell cheered the City by beating analysts’ profit forecasts by £799million.

Additionally, it announced plans to buy back a further £2.8billion of its shares to reward investors, having already spent as much this year doing so. It also kept its dividend unchanged at 34.4 US cents (27.5p) per share, a payout worth over £2billion to investors.

Chief executive Wael Sawan said: “Shell delivered another quarter of strong operational and financial performance, demonstrating our continued focus on delivering more value with less emissions.”

Quilter Cheviot energy analyst Jamie Maddock said that Shell had “handsomely” beaten profit expectations. He added: “Shareholders are being well rewarded as Shell takes advantage of higher commodity prices and enhanced operational discipline.”



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