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Shell reports highest profits in 115 years

The company reported adjusted earnings of $39.9bn (£32.2bn) for 2022, the highest in its 115-year history. Energy firms have been making record profits after oil and gas prices jumped following the invasion of Ukraine. It has heaped pressure on firms to pay windfall taxes as households struggle with rising bills. Last year, the UK government introduced a windfall tax - called the Energy Profits Levy - on the profits of firms to help fund its scheme to lower gas and electricity bills. Oil and gas prices had begun to rise after the end of Covid lockdowns but rose sharply after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

It led to to bumper profits for energy companies, but also fuelled a rise in energy bills for households and businesses. Along with rising food prices it has pushed inflation - the rate at which prices rise - to a 40-year high. The government is limiting gas and electricity bills, meaning that a household using a typical amount of energy will pay £2,500 a year.  However, that is still more than twice what it was before Russia's invasion began.  In May, the government introduced its windfall tax on the profits made from extracting UK oil and gas. The rate was originally set at 25%, but it was increased to 35% in November. Earlier this year, Shell said it would pay tax in the UK for the first time since 2017 as a result of the new windfall tax. Shell chief executive Wael Sawan said the firm's results "demonstrate the strength of Shell's differentiated portfolio, as well as our capacity to deliver vital energy to our customers in a volatile world". "We believe that Shell is well positioned to be the trusted partner through the energy transition."

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