Shell raises its dividend as profits surge

Royal Dutch Shell's profits leapt to over $3.2 billion in the first three months of the year, beating forecasts.

The Anglo-Dutch company raised its dividend by 4% as planned.

That's the second increase since it slashed its payout by two-thirds at the start of last year due to the global health crisis.

It said on Thursday (April 29) that the quarter had been boosted by asset sales, as well as higher oil and liquefied natural gas prices.

Sales of oil and gas assets in countries including Nigeria, Canada and Egypt added $1.4 billion to first-quarter profits.

But Shell warned that the outlook remained uncertain.

Fuel sales fell 13% in the first quarter due to further lockdowns and the impact of a Texas storm in February.

Shell's London-listed shares were up around a percent in early deals.

It reduced its debt to just over $71 billion.

But Shell wants to get its net debt below $65 billion before starting to repurchase shares, part of its strategy to shift to low-carbon energy in the coming decades.