Saudi Aramco says annual profit more than doubled in 2021

Saudi Aramco says annual profit more than doubled in 2021

Saudi Aramco says annual profit more than doubled in 2021

Energy giant Saudi Aramco said yesterday its 2021 net profit soared by more than 120 percent, due to higher crude prices, as global economic growth recovered from a pandemic induced downturn.

“Aramco’s net income increased by 124 percent to $110.0 billion in 2021, compared to $49.0 billion in 2020,” the company said in a statement.

Aramco achieved a net income of $88.2 billion in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic hit global markets, resulting in huge losses for the oil and aviation sectors, among others.

A strong rebound last year saw oil prices recover from their 2020 lows, and they have soared to highs not seen since 2014 this year, amid global supply shortages and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Aramco floated 1.7 percent of its shares on the Saudi bourse in December 2019, generating $29.4 billion in the world’s biggest initial public offering.

“Our strong results are a testament to our financial discipline, flexibility through evolving market conditions and steadfast focus on our long-term growth strategy,” Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement.

“Although economic conditions have improved considerably, the outlook remains uncertain due to various macroeconomic and geopolitical factors,” he said.

“But our investment plan aims to tap into rising long-term demand for reliable, affordable and ever more secure and sustainable energy,” he added.

Since Mohammed bin Salman’s appointment as crown prince in 2017, Saudi Arabia has sought to diversify its oil-dominated economy.

In February, the kingdom - one of the world’s top crude exporters - moved 4 percent of Aramco shares worth $80 billion to the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

The crown prince said last year that Aramco was in talks to sell a 1-percent stake to a foreign energy giant.

Brent crude is currently selling at more than $100 per barrel - in part due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On March 8, the U.S. Energy Information Administration revised up the spot price of Brent crude by $22 per barrel to an average of $105.22 per barrel and American benchmark West Texas Intermediate to $101.17 a barrel.

Russia is the world’s largest producer of gas and one of the biggest oil producers and is grappling with mounting Western sanctions.

Oil-rich Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, have so far resisted Western pressure to raise oil output to rein in prices, stressing their commitment to the OPEC+ alliance of oil producers, which Riyadh and Moscow lead.