(Bloomberg) -- Repsol SA will increase payouts to shareholders by as much as 5%, following in the footsteps of larger rivals as oil prices recover from a pandemic-driven lull. 

The Spanish company will raise its dividend to 0.63 euros ($0.73) and will propose a redemption program that includes share buybacks to investors for as many as 75 million shares, equivalent to 4.9% of its existing offering.

“The quality of Repsol’s operational and financial delivery and strengthened balance sheet have given the board confidence to move to the next phase of our capital allocation policy,” said chief executive officer Josu Jon Imaz in a statement Thursday, as the company published its third-quarter earnings. 

Emboldened by crude’s 64% gain this year, leading oil producers across the globe have increased payouts to shareholders. Equinor ASA said Wednesday it would increase the size of its share buybacks after the company’s profit surged in the third quarter. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, TotalEnergiesSE and Chevron Corp. have also announced higher dividends in recent months.  

The move by the Spanish oil producer on Thursday comes less than a year after it outlined a new strategic plan that included reducing dividends, as part of a cost-control push during the pandemic. At the time, the company said it expected to grow the payment again 2023. 

Repsol, like many peers, is less focused now on costly exploration than it was in the past, freeing more money to offer shareholders. The company is among the oil firms making the biggest push into renewable energy.

Repsol gives a glimpse of what is expected to be a stellar set of earnings from major oil and gas producers, as consumption recovers from the pandemic, getting an additional boost as suppliers search for alternatives to gas. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron report on Friday, followed by BP Plc on Nov. 2. 


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