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Shell increases quarterly dividend by 4% as profits jump

Shell profits up by 13% to $3.2bn

Shell announced on Thursday that its profits rose during Q1 as the oil giant recovered from the pandemic-induced downturn through a recovery in energy consumption and prices.

Profits at the Anglo-Dutch FTSE 100 company increased by 13% to $3.2bn compared to the same period the year before.

As a result, Shell made the decision to increase its quarterly dividend by 4% thanks to its improvement in trading. Following the announcement Shell shares are up by 1.37% in mid-morning trading.

The oil industry more generally is in the early stages of a recovery following the damage caused by Covid-19, which made energy companies tighten their spending and reduce costs.

Brent crude oil, the benchmark used across the world for the commodity, had remained above $60 per barrel in recent weeks as major producers have put in place supply cuts as demand returns to normal levels.

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Royal Dutch Shell confirmed earlier this month that the impact of the Texas winter storm saw the company lose out on $200m in the first quarter of 2021.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said: “Shell has made a strong start to 2021, generating over $8bn of cash in the quarter. Our integrated business model is ideally positioned to benefit from recovering demand. 

“Our competitive and robust financial performance provides the platform to achieve the goals of our Powering Progress strategy.”

He also said that Shell had reduced net debt by more than $4bn in the quarter, progressing towards the $65bn milestone it needs to hit before increasing shareholder distributions.

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