Shell considers exiting UK, German, Dutch energy retail businesses

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Shell (SHEL.L) is considering exiting its home energy retail businesses in Britain, the Netherlands and Germany in the wake of "tough market conditions", it said on Thursday.

European energy suppliers have struggled over the past year with soaring wholesale prices and efforts by governments to shield consumers from rising bills.

Shell said it had launched a strategic review of the three businesses which is likely to take a few months, but that no decision had been taken yet on their future.

Shell injected nearly $1.5 billion in cash and credit into its British energy retail business in 2022 to help it weather huge volatility in power prices that caused the collapse of several rival UK utilities.

Shell Energy Retail, its UK business, has 1.4 million customers, while its German business has 110,000 and the Dutch business 15,000.

Shell said its wholesale and business-to-business (B2B) energy supply businesses were not part of the strategic review, and neither were its home energy supply businesses in the United States and Australia.

Although the retail businesses have struggled, Shell is set to post a record annual profit of over $30 billion in 2022 when it reports results on Feb. 7 thanks to soaring oil and gas prices.

Reporting by Ron Bousso Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Ron has covered since 2014 the world’s top oil and gas companies, focusing on their efforts to shift into renewables and low carbon energy and the sector's turmoil during the COVID-19 pandemic and following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He has been named Reporter of the Year in 2014 and 2021 by Reuters. Before Reuters, Ron reported on equity markets in New York in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis after covering conflict and diplomacy in the Middle East for AFP out of Israel.