Oil giant Saudi Aramco has said its profits soared more than 80% in the first three months of the year, as the state-backed company cashes in on the volatility in global energy markets and soaring prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The bumper first-quarter earnings by the firm formally known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co show a record net income of 39.5 billion US dollars (£32.2 billion) up from 21.7 billion US dollars (£17.7 billion) during the same period last year.
The figure marks the oil group’s highest quarterly profit since 2019, when the Saudi government, which owns 98% of the company, listed a sliver of its worth on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange.
In a statement on Sunday, Aramco’s chief executive appeared to suggest disruption from the war in Ukraine had underscored the vital role of oil and gas companies like Aramco.
Amin H Nasser said: “Against the backdrop of increased volatility in global markets, we remain focused on helping meet the world’s demand for energy that is reliable, affordable and increasingly sustainable.”
He added that Aramco is in the midst of increasing its maximum production capacity to meet anticipated demand growth.
Oil prices rallied to a 14-year high of 139 US dollars (£113) a barrel in March immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although later receded as Russian oil continued to flow and renewed lockdowns hit demand in China.
International benchmark Brent crude traded over 111 US dollars (£90.50) a barrel on Sunday.
Shares of Aramco were up 1.85% on Sunday following the earnings report, with a share costing 41.40 Saudi riyals (£9), on the Tadawul stock market.
Aramco overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company last week as higher oil prices pushed its shares to record levels, with the company’s market cap at 2.43 trillion US dollars (£1.9 trillion).