Saudi Aramco reported a 30 per cent increase in first-quarter earnings as higher oil prices, and both stronger refining and chemicals margins offset lower production.
Saudi Arabia’s state energy group said net income in the three months to March 31 was $21.7bn, up from $16.7bn in the same quarter a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic took hold around the world. This beat analysts’ forecasts of $19.4bn.
“Given the positive signs for energy demand in 2021, there are more reasons to be optimistic that better days are coming,” said Amin Nasser, chief executive. “And while some headwinds still remain, we are well positioned to meet the world’s growing energy needs as economies start to recover.”
Free cash flow for the quarter stood at $18.3bn, which was not quite enough to cover the dividend the company will pay out for the three month period — largely to the government — of $18.8bn.