Oil giant Saudi Aramco posts 19% drop in first-quarter profit

An offshore drilling platform stands in shallow waters at the Manifa offshore oilfield, operated by Saudi Aramco, in Manifa, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi state oil giant Aramco on Tuesday reported a 19% drop in its first-quarter earnings, recording net income of $31.9 billion down from $39.5 billion the previous year amid falling oil prices.

Analysts expected to see a dip in net profit this quarter compared to the previous year, as inflation and rising interest rates pressure global demand and stoke fears of a recession. Still, Aramco’s net income beat expectations of $30.5 billion, which was forecast by Reuters analysts. The company’s net profit was up 3.75% from the fourth quarter.

Aramco’s first-quarter dividend, which was increased in the fourth quarter to $19.5 billion, will be paid in the second quarter, the company said. It reported its quarterly cash flow from operating activities at $39.6 billion.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser emphasized the value of its downstream strategy, which has seen it invest heavily in petrochemical and other operations.

“We are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to increase liquids-to-chemicals capacity and meet anticipated demand for petrochemical products,” Nasser said.

He added that “we believe oil and gas will remain critical components of the global energy mix for the foreseeable future.”

Nasser said the company is “moving forward” with its capacity expansion, and that its “long-term outlook remains unchanged.”

Aramco, which is the world’s largest oil exporter, posted a record net income of $161.1 billion for 2022 in March, up by 46.5% over the year.

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