MT is picturing CEO Peter Voser, like the oil prospectors of old, dancing by a gushing well, covered in the black stuff and shouting, 'I'm richer than Croesus!'
Full-year earnings are up 54%, mostly down to the jaw-dropping price of oil. Brent crude averaged $111 a barrel last year (it was $60 a barrel only five year ago). Shareholders reaped dividends worth $10.5bn off the back of these stonking great gains.
The announcement has sparked a storm of criticism for Shell, coming just weeks after Voser axed the company final salary scheme for new recruits. 'The company is needlessly closing its final salary scheme while posting colossal profits,' is the outraged statement from Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey.
But even the spiralling price of oil couldn't keep the growth steady into the fourth quarter. Alongside its year-end good news, Shell reported a Q4 profit of $6.46bn, up 13% on 2010 but down 11% on the previous three months. Nevertheless, Voser is chomping at the bit to meet even more ambitious financial goals this year: 'With ramp up now well in hand for near-term growth, I want to move our agenda forward today, with new targets for the company.'