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Shell plans $23bn dividend for shareholders

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Shell Plc says it returned $23bn to shareholders in 2023, a release by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Wael Sawan, said Thursday.

Sawan said Shell was now increasing its dividends by four per cent in line with the firm’s ‘progressive’ dividend policy.

“In 2023, Shell returned $23bn to shareholders. In line with our progressive dividend policy. Shell is now increasing its dividend by 4 per cent. We are also commencing a $3.5bn buyback programme for the next three months,” the CEO said.

In the third quarter of 2023, Shell’s adjusted earnings was $7.3bn, which the CEO said “reflected robust operational performance and strong LNG trading and optimisation results”. It was a 17 per cent increase compared to $6.2bn Adjusted Earnings in Q3 2023.

The cash flow from operations for the last quarter was $12.6 billion, a 2 per cent rise from that of Q3.

Sawan said the 2023 full year shareholder distributions of $23bn was in excess of 40 per cent of CFFO for 2023, which is $54.2bn.

However, the total CFFO for the year 2023 is 21 per cent lower than that of 2022, which stood at $68.4bn.

According to Shell fourth quarter 2023 and full year unaudited results, the “year 2023 income attributable to Shell PLC shareholders, compared with the full year 2022, reflected lower realised oil and gas prices, lower volumes, and lower refining margins, partly offset by higher LNG trading and optimisation margins, and higher Marketing margins”.

By focusing the portfolio and simplifying the organisation, Shell disclosed that $1bn of pre-tax structural cost reductions were delivered compared with the full year 2022, said to be mainly driven by divestments.

“Full year 2023 income attributable to Shell plc shareholders also included net impairment charges and reversals of $6.2bn, and unfavourable movements of $1.3bn due to the fair value accounting of commodity derivatives.

“These charges and unfavourable movements are included in identified items amounting to a net loss of $8.2bn. This compares with identified items in the full year 2022 which amounted to a net gain of $1.2 billion,” the report said in part.

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