ITALY’S Eni increased its dividend on Friday and said a share buyback was still possible as the energy company raised its output and cash flow targets.
In its 2018-2021 plan, Eni said it would pay a dividend this year of €0.83 ($1.02) per share compared to €0.80 on last year’s results.
It also said a share buyback remained an option to distribute excess cash.
“The dividend increase announced today mirrors our commitment to a progressive remuneration policy,” CEO Claudio Descalzi said.
Eni was the first oil major to cut its dividend three years ago after a steep decline in the oil price.
As crude prices recover, the world’s biggest oil companies are now trying to woo investors with promises of growth and greater rewards.
In February, Total raised dividends and announced plans to buy back shares while BP flagged a resumption of share buybacks.
State-controlled Eni, the world’s most successful explorer in recent years after finds in Egypt and Mozambique, said it planned to spend about €32 billion over the plan period.
It said it aims to increase production by 3.5 percent per year, up from a 3 percent target in its previous plan.
Free cash flow is expected to total €22 billion over the period.
Eni also said it intended to grow its midstream and downstream businesses.