Shell reveals record profits of more than £7billion as Brits struggle to heat homes in cost-of-living crisis
Shell has revealed record first-quarter profits thanks to soaring oil and gas prices in an update set to further fuel demands for a windfall tax on the sector
The oil giant joined rival BP in posting better-than-expected underlying earnings for the first three months of 2022, at $9.1billion (£7.2billion) – nearly three times the $3.2billion (£2.5billion) reported a year earlier.
It comes as calls mount from Labour and the Liberal Democrats for a windfall tax on oil and gas firms to help ease the cost-of-living crisis.
The sector is reaping the benefits of rocketing oil and gas prices, which have been pushed to record levels by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and surging demand as economies emerge from the pandemic.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has so far resisted pressure to make the firms pay more tax, instead looking to companies making big profits to invest the cash back into the UK.
Like its FTSE 100 Index rival BP, Shell’s figures also showed a hit from its move to pull out of Russia due to the Ukraine war as it booked a $3.9billion (£3.1billion) charge.
Despite this, it still saw current cost of supply (CCS) earnings attributable to shareholders jump to $5billion (£4billion) in the quarter, up from $4.3billion (£3.4billion) a year ago, though it was down 38 percent on the previous three months.
BP also posted sky-high earnings earlier this week as pressure mounts on the Government to introduce a windfall tax.
But Mike Owens, UK Sales Trader at Saxo Markets, says such a move would be unlikely.
He said: “Although tempting for the Government to help with the heavy lifting – and while Boris Johnson’s party is looking to win back trust in voters – it also goes against the Tory party’s pro-business beliefs so is unlikely to come to fruition.”