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Repsol to Return Up to 10B Euros to Shareholders by 2027

MADRID, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Spanish oil company Repsol will hand shareholders up to 10 billion euros ($11 billion) via dividends and buybacks through 2027 as it pushes forward with its pivot to renewable energy and biofuels, it said on Thursday, driving its shares up.

The Spanish firm joins other big oil companies offering record returns to shareholders despite a steep decline in profit from all-time highs in 2022, when oil and gas prices soared following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Repsol, whose market value was 16.7 billion euros at Wednesday's close, pledged to buy back up to 5.4 billion euros in shares through 2027. In addition, shareholders will get 4.6 billion euros in cash dividends.

The company raised the dividend paid from 2023 results by almost 30% to 0.90 euros a share.

Its shares rose 5.1% to 14.38 euros at 08.19 GMT.

The Spanish company has been diversifying into renewables from its traditional oil and gas core business. While adding renewable and biofuel capacity, it still sees an important role in the energy mix for fossil fuels.

"We are convinced that this approach, in which decarbonisation is an attractive opportunity to create value, grow and be profitable, is the most appropriate one for us," Chief Executive Josu Jon Imaz said.

Repsol plans net investment of between 16 billion and 19 billion euros by the plan's end, depending on market conditions. More than 35% will go to low carbon projects, such as biofuels and renewables, with a big focus on the Iberian peninsula and the United States.

Its renewable energy capacity will increase more than three-fold, reaching 9 to 10 gigawatts in 2027 from the current 2.8 GW.

It also said that it would prepare its oil exploration and production business for a potential listing in 2026 or 2027.

Repsol's fourth-quarter adjusted profit fell less than expected, as oil and gas prices cooled but oil and gas production outperformed forecasts.

Quarterly adjusted profit was 1.20 billion euros, down from 2.04 billion euros a year earlier, but beating the company-provided average forecast of 1 billion euros.

The Spanish company will also cancel 40 million shares by the end of July. At Wednesday's closing price, the shares are worth 547 million euros.

($1 = 0.9220 euros)

Reporting by Pietro Lombardi; Editing by David Latona, Inti Landauro, Sharon Singleton and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Source: Reuters

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