Shell boosts dividend as profit soars

Royal Dutch Shell's second quarter profits have surged to their highest in more than two years.

On Thursday (July 29) the energy giant boosted its dividend and launched a $2 billion share buyback programme.

Profits across the industry have made a strong recovery from last year's health crisis-led collapse.

Shell said that global fuel demand was now at 90% to 100% of its pre-crisis levels.

But added that consumption of aviation fuel remained weak.

Earnings for the quarter rose to $5.5 billion, their highest since the fourth quarter of 2018.

That compares with earnings of $638 million a year earlier.

Shell's London-traded shares rose as much as 3.5% on the news.

Stronger profits from the firm's marketing division, which houses the world's biggest network of petrol stations, also boosted the results as sales of coffee and snacks jumped.

The strong results provide relief for Shell, which faces mounting pressure over its strategy to tackle climate change.

A Dutch court in May ordered the company to significantly accelerate its emissions reduction targets.

Shell said it will appeal the court ruling, but at the same time it aims to accelerate its plan to cut emissions.

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