Oil giant Shell records £1.4bn more than expected in profits

The profits come after rival oil company BP also reported profits above expectations this week.

Oil giant Shell made nearly $1.7bn (£1.4bn) more in profit than experts had expected in the first three months of the year, the company said on Thursday.

The business joined its rival BP in reporting expectations-beating results this week.

Shell said that its adjusted earnings had risen by 5.7% compared to the same quarter a year earlier, reaching $9.6bn (£7.6bn).

The business said that compared to the last three months of 2022, it had faced unfavourable tax movements, and the price it was able to sell oil and gas at dropped.

However, Shell said that it had managed to offset some of this through cutting operating expenses and a rise in its chemicals and products trading business.

The company said that it had decreased production slightly compared to a year ago, to 2.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Revenue rose 3.3% to just under $87bn (£69bn).

It also announced plans to buy back shares worth four billion dollars (£3.2bn) from investors over the next three months to return cash to its owners.

On completion, the company will have distributed around $12bn (£9.6 billion) to its shareholders in the first six months of 2023.

Chief executive Wael Sawan said: “In Q1 Shell delivered strong results and robust operational performance, against a backdrop of ongoing volatility, while continuing to deliver vital supplies of secure energy.

“We will commence a $4bn share buyback programme for the next three months as part of our commitment to deliver attractive shareholder returns.”

Like its rival BP, Shell’s results immediately sparked calls for the Government to take a tougher stance against the oil majors.

Alexander Kirk, a campaigner at Global Witness, said: “Despite the glaringly obvious inequality at the heart of our energy system, the Government appears to be making the same mistakes all over again.

“The simple truth is that the windfall tax has not worked and new evidence has shown that through loopholes in the UK’s tax regime, UK taxpayers are handing oil and gas companies billions extra in tax rebates.”

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