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Shell buybacks ‘sooner rather than later’

Shell buybacks ‘sooner rather than later’

Emily Gosden, Energy Editor: The Times

Royal Dutch Shell told investors yesterday that it could soon be ready to start share buybacks after higher oil prices boosted its profits.

The London-listed, Anglo-Dutch oil major reported a 58 per cent jump in first-quarter net earnings to $4.3 billion after the price of Brent crude rebounded to $61 a barrel, from $50 a barrel a year earlier.

Shell, which slashed its dividend by two thirds a year ago as oil prices crashed, confirmed plans to increase the quarterly payout to 17.35 cents per share, up 4 per cent on the fourth quarter. It has promised to further increase returns once net debt is reduced to $65 billion and said that it was making progress towards this milestone, with debt down by $4.1
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