Glencore to hand shareholders nearly £6bn after banking record profits

Glencore to hand shareholders nearly £6bn after banking record profits of £28bn last year

Glencore will give nearly £6billion to shareholders after the commodity giant reported record profits of £28billion.

The Swiss firm announced a payout of £4.7billion in dividends, and a £1.2billion share buyback, as its coal and trading divisions powered growth.

Profits jumped 60 per cent to £28.2billion in 2022, smashing a previous record of £17.7billion a year earlier. The profits are bigger than BP’s for 2022 but less than Shell.

Fuelling profits: Glencore announced a pay out of £4.7bn in cash dividends to shareholders, along with a £1.2bn share buyback, as its coal and trading divisions powered growth

Glencore’s trading division reported record profits of £5.3billion – 73 per cent up on a year earlier and mainly the result of soaring energy prices.

These, it said, were driven by its energy traders ‘successfully navigating the extreme market imbalances, volatility and dislocations across crude oil, LNG, refined products, coal and logistics infrastructure’.

Companies generating record profits thanks to war in Ukraine have attracted criticism. 

But Gary Nagle, chief executive, said: ‘We’ve assisted customers in ensuring energy security in a time of disruption and risk and uncertainty. 

‘These customers have sent us letters of thanks. We were there in their time of need.

‘We’ve helped step in and facilitate a real, proper transition away from being able to use Russian materials.’

Glencore is one of the world’s largest producers of copper, cobalt, nickel and aluminium and expects further strong results in 2023.

Nagle said China loosening Covid restrictions, increased focus on energy security and the need to cut carbon emissions ‘mean that demand for many of our commodities is likely to remain healthy’.

It plans to also continue producing coal until the middle of this century, even while others sell or demerge coal assets. But some investors have called for it to explain how the plan aligns with its support of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

At the most recent AGM, almost a quarter of shareholders voted against its climate strategy, which includes goals to halve emissions by 2035 and reach net-zero by 2050.

In response, Glencore has announced it would publish a new climate progress report in March and has brought forward the closure of some mines. 

Glencore’s shares fell 1.6 per cent, or 8.1p, to 507.8p but were still almost 20 per cent higher than their level a year earlier.