Saudi Aramco beats quarterly profit forecast

State-run oil producer Saudi Aramco beat analysts’ forecasts on Tuesday with a 30% rise in first-quarter net profit and maintained its dividend payout, helped by strong oil prices.

Earnings by global energy companies such as Exxon Mobil have climbed on the back of rising crude prices, which are up by about a third this year, as fuel demand recovers from the pandemic and as a global surplus of crude shrinks.

Net income rose to $21.7 billion for the quarter to March 31 from $16.7 billion a year earlier. Aramco was expected to post net profit of $19.48 billion, according to an average of 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.


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