Saudi Aramco reports huge 82% Q1 profit rise on strong oil prices

Saudi Aramco yesterday posted an almost 82% increase in first quarter net profit to US$39.5 billion, having been helped by strong oil prices throughout the first three months of the year.

Saudi Arabia’s state run oil giant was widely expected to report a significantly improved return for the period, following a flurry of decade-high earnings recently announced by global energy companies such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

The world’s top oil exporter – and the world’s most valuable company – has been boosted by high oil prices, with Brent crude ending the first quarter at $107.91 a barrel – almost 70% higher than the price at the end of March 2021.

Aramco, which listed in 2019 with the sale of a 1.7% stake on the domestic Tadawul exchange, said its earnings were the highest in any quarter since it went public, citing crude prices, volumes sold and improved downstream margins.

The company also declared a dividend of $18.8 billion to be paid in the second quarter, in line with market expectations, and approved the distribution of one bonus share for every 10 shares held in the company.

“During the first quarter, our strategic downstream expansion progressed further in both Asia and Europe, and we continue to develop opportunities that complement our growth objectives,” Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement following the release of the Q1 results.