War—what is it good for? Shell shareholders might be able to answer that question. The British company has reported a record profit of almost $40 billion for 2022, in large part due to the surge in energy prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, reports Reuters. The $39.9 billion profit, around twice that of 2021's, is the largest the company has recorded in its 115-year history, and it has led to calls to increase windfall taxes on the profits of energy giants, the BBC reports. Shell said it expects to pay an extra $2.3 billion in existing windfall taxes in the UK and the European Union, reports the AP. The company said it paid $26 billion to shareholders last year in dividends and share buybacks.
Opposition leaders in the UK said taxes on Shell's "bumper profits" should go up. "No company should be making these kind of outrageous profits out of Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine," said Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, per the BBC. "They must tax the oil and gas companies properly and at the very least ensure that energy bills don't rise yet again in April." Wael Sawan, who became Shell CEO at the start of the year, said the company plans "to remain disciplined while delivering compelling shareholder returns," per Reuters. (ExxonMobil also made record profits last year.)