Oil major Saudi Aramco reported a 19% drop in first-quarter profit

An offshore drilling platform is seen in shallow waters at the Manifa offshore oil field operated by Saudi Aramco, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Manifa, Saudi Arabia.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Good pictures

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Saudi state oil company Aramco on Tuesday reported a 19% drop in its first-quarter earnings, with net income falling to $31.9 billion from $39.5 billion a year earlier amid falling oil prices.

Analysts expect net profit to fall this quarter from a year earlier as inflation and rising interest rates squeeze global demand and stoke fears of a recession. However, Aramco’s net income beat expectations of $30.5 billion, which was forecast by Reuters analysts. The company’s net profit increased by 3.75% from the fourth quarter.

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

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser stressed the value of its downstream strategy, which has seen it invest heavily in petrochemicals and other activities.

“We are using state-of-the-art technologies from liquids to chemicals to increase capacity and meet the expected demand for petrochemical products,” Nasser said.

“We believe that oil and gas will be key components of the global energy mix in the future,” he said.

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

Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, reported net income of $161.1 billion in March 2022, up 46.5% year-on-year.

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