Subject to Board approval, Shell aims to grow the dividend per share by around 4% every year. In total, Shell targets the distribution of 20-30% of its cash flow from operations to shareholders. Shell may choose to return cash to shareholders through a combination of dividends and share buybacks.
When setting the level of shareholder remuneration, the Board looks at a range of factors, including the macro environment, the underlying business earnings and cash flows of Shell Group, the current balance sheet, future investment and divestment plans and existing commitments. We returned $6.3 billion to our shareholders through dividends in 2021.
The fourth quarter 2021 interim dividend of $0.24 per share will be payable to shareholders on the register at February 18, 2022. See Note 24 to the “Consolidated Financial Statements”. The Board expects that the first quarter 2022 interim dividend will increase by around 4% compared with the fourth quarter 2021 interim dividend, to $0.25 per share.