DUBAI, May 15 (BNA): Saudi oil giant Aramco said today, Sunday, that its profits rose by more than 80% in the first three months of the year, as the state-backed company benefits from fluctuations in global energy markets and high oil prices in the aftermath. The crisis of Russia and Ukraine.
The bumper first-quarter profits achieved by the company, officially known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, showed a record net income of $39.5 billion, compared to $21.7 billion during the same period last year.
The figure represents the oil group’s highest quarterly profit since 2019, when the Saudi government, which owns 98% of the company, listed a portion of its value on the Riyadh Stock Exchange.
In a statement, the Aramco CEO appeared to suggest that the turmoil caused by the war in Ukraine had underscored the vital role of oil and gas companies like Aramco.
“Against the backdrop of increased volatility in global markets, we remain focused on helping meet global demand for increasingly reliable, affordable and sustainable energy,” said Amin Nasser, President and CEO, adding that Aramco is in the midst of an increase. Its maximum production capacity to meet the expected demand growth.
Oil prices rose to a 14-year high of $139 a barrel in March. International benchmark Brent crude was trading more than $111 a barrel on Sunday.
Aramco shares rose 1.85% Sunday following the earnings report, with a share costing 41.40 Saudi riyals, or $11.04, on the Tadawul exchange.
Aramco overtook Apple as the world’s largest company by value last week, as high oil prices pushed its shares to record levels, with the company’s market value at $2.43 trillion.
The oil group said it maintained a cash dividend of $18.8 billion for the fourth quarter of last year – completing one of the largest full-year cash dividends in the world. Payment is a primary source of revenue for the Saudi government.
Gearing, which the company defines as the degree to which its operations are financed with debt, fell from 14% at the end of last year to 8% in the first quarter.
The strong quarterly results come after economic activity and the easing of global coronavirus restrictions returned to record annual results for the state-backed company last year after the devastation wrought by the pandemic.