Shell profits hit record $11.5bn doubling in one year amid soaring energy prices

It comes as households continue to struggle in devastating cost of living crisis

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Thursday 28 July 2022 08:50 BST
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Oil company Shell has reported record profits of $11.5bn, doubling its earnings in a single year amid surging energy prices.

This is up from $5.5bn in April-June 2021- marking a $6bn increase in profits- and up from $9.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

The oil giant recorded a fourteen-fold increase in quarterly profits earlier this year which had reignited calls for a windfall tax to relieve the burden on struggling families during the worsening cost of living crisis.

Oil giant Shell has benefited from rising fuel prices
Oil giant Shell has benefited from rising fuel prices (PA)

Commenting on the announcement, political economist Richard Murphy tweeted: “As I said when this cost of living crisis began, the hikes in prices did not disappear into a black hole. They went somewhere.

“And as I predicted that somewhere was into corporate profits, massively increasing the divisions and stresses in our society.”

The average household could face a bill of £500 for energy in January 2023, with a prediction of an annual price cap of £3,850, far exceeding already gloomy predictions for rising bills made earlier this year, according to utilities consultancy BFY Group.

The forecast was made off the back off Russia’s ceaseless invasion of Ukraine and its subsequent action to cut off gas supplies to Europe which has crippled the market even further.

Shell’s chief executive officer, Ben van Beurden, said: “With volatile energy markets and the ongoing need for action to tackle climate change, 2022 continues to present huge challenges for consumers, governments, and companies alike.

“Consequently, we are using our financial strength to invest in secure energy supplies which the world needs today, taking real, bold steps to cut carbon emissions, and transforming our company for a low-carbon energy future.”

The company also said it would a share buyback programme of $6bn in the third quarter, which would give more cash to investors.

“The strong oil price backdrop has helped Shell deliver a blockbuster set of results. The dividend may have remained the same, but the share buyback programme is positive news for shareholders,” said Stuart Lamont, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin.

Shell’s record-breaking quarter comes as British Gas owner Centrica has seen operating profits increase five-fold to £1.34 billion as energy bills soar.

The company said its 2022 interim results showed profits in the six months to the end of June were a five-fold increase compared to the same period in 2021.

Group chief executive Chris O’Shea said Centrica would continue to support customers “through the most challenging energy crisis in living memory”.

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