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


An offshore drilling rig sits in the shallow waters of the Manifa offshore oilfield, operated by Saudi Aramco, in Manifa, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi oil giant Aramco reported a 19% drop in first-quarter profits on Tuesday, posting net profit of $31.9 billion from $39.5 billion a year earlier in a context of falling oil prices.

Analysts had expected to see a drop in net profit this quarter from a year earlier as inflation and rising interest rates put pressure on global demand and stoke fears of a recession. Still, Aramco’s net profit beat expectations by $30.5 billion, which was expected by Reuters analysts. The company’s net profit rose 3.75% from the fourth quarter.

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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 has highlighted the value of its downstream strategy, which has seen it invest heavily in petrochemicals and other businesses.

“We are leveraging advanced technologies to increase liquid-to-chemical capacity and meet anticipated demand for petrochemicals,” Nasser said.

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

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

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

This is breaking news. Please check for updates.

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