London — Saudi Aramco on Tuesday reported a 30% rise in first-quarter net profit, coupled with a maintained dividend payout, according to a report by Reuters.
The state oil company beats analysts forecasts with a 30% rise in revenue boosted by strong oil prices.
International Brent sold for $68.78 per barrel around 11:37 AM Nigerian time, gaining over $1 from a previous closed price of $67.66 per barrel.
“Given the positive signs for energy demand in 2021, there are more reasons to be optimistic that better days are coming,” Amin Nasser, chief executive of the company said in a statement.
“And while some headwinds still remain, we are well-positioned to meet the world’s growing energy needs as economies start to recover,” he said.
Fuel demands have climbed this year following slow demands last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Its net income rose to $21.7 billion for the quarter to March 31 from $16.7 billion a year earlier. Aramco had been forecast to deliver net profit of $19.48 billion, according to an average based on estimates by five analysts.
Aramco, which listed in 2019 with the sale of a 1.7% stake mainly to the Saudi public and regional institutions, said earnings were boosted by stronger crude prices and higher refining and chemicals margins, helping offset lower production.
Output cuts by the OPEC+ group have supported prices this year. The group has again agreed on a plan in April to start gradually easing cuts from May 1.
According to Aramco global demand for petroleum products is recovering from its lows in 2020 but remained below pre-pandemic levels.
Aramco declared a dividend of $18.8 billion for the first quarter, to be paid in the second quarter, in line with company guidance of a $75 billion dividend for this year.
Aramco said it expected capital expenditures to be around $35 billion in 2021, compared to the original guidance of $40 billion to $45 billion.
Aramco average total hydrocarbon production came in at 11.5 million barrels per day of oil equivalent in the first quarter of 2021. That includes 8.6 million barrels per day of crude oil.
The Kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman said more Aramco shares could be sold in the next year or two, including to international investors. The country also plans to sell 1% of Aramco shares to a leading global energy company.