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Shell pledges $10bn dividend payment

Royal Dutch Shell pledged on Tuesday to pay out $10bn (£7.1bn) in dividends in 2009 even though the energy group felt that economic conditions could remain tough for more than a year.

It also disclosed that Jeroen van der Veer, its chief executive, was paid €10.3m (£8.23m) in 2008, including accrued retirement benefits.

In a strategy update, the oil and gas group said its balance sheet was strong enough for it “to maintain investment and grow dividends in the downturn”.

Peter Voser, chief financial officer, said that the company, which distributed $9.5bn in dividends in 2008, would continue to increase payments in line with inflation. It had already announced that the 2009 first quarter dividend would increase by 5 per cent.

BP, Shell’s rival, indicated earlier this month that its dividend was likely to be frozen in 2009.

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This article was originally posted on FT.com

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