LONDON–Shell PLC became the latest oil giant to post record annual profit last year, joining U.S. peers in surging back from early pandemic losses on soaring energy prices.
$41.6 billion full-year profit surpassed the London-based company’s previous record of $31.4 billion in 2008, measured on a net current-cost-of-supplies basis–a figure similar to the net income that U.S. oil companies report.
The results bring to more than $132 billion the combined profit last year of the three big majors including historic results from Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp., reported during the past week. Their hauls, driven by strong global energy demand, erase billions of dollars of losses incurred during Covid lockdowns as global travel and economic activity sputtered.
Shell’s earnings included fourth-quarter profit on a net current-cost-of-supplies basis of $11.4 billion, compared with $11.2 billion in the year-ago period. Results were boosted by strong performance in Shell’s liquefied natural-gas business, which benefited from soaring global demand after Russia cut off pipeline gas supplies to Europe.
Adjusted fourth-quarter earnings, which strip out certain commodity-price adjustments and one-time charges, were $9.8 billion. That beat the consensus forecast of $8 billion for the quarter in a survey of 28 analysts compiled for Shell by an outside firm.
Shell’s results are the first reported under Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan, who took over the role Jan. 1 from longtime boss Ben van Beurden. The 48-year-old Mr. Sawan, a dual Lebanese-Canadian national who joined Shell in 1997, rose through the ranks to oversee Shell’s natural-gas business, which has driven record profits, and more recently renewable energy.
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