The net income of Saudi Arabia’s state-backed oil company increased more than 30% during the first quarter of 2021, driven by recovering demand for petroleum products, according to the company's financial results on Tuesday.
The oil giant said it gained 81.4 billion Saudi riyals ($21.7 billion) in the January-March period of this year, compared to 62.4 billion riyals ($16.6 billion) in the same period of 2020.
The world's largest oil company attributed the positive results to a strong recovery in the energy markets due to the ongoing rebalancing of supply and demand fundamentals, in addition to improved sentiment for an increase in global demand spurred by ongoing vaccination programs.
“There are more reasons to be optimistic that better days are coming. And while some headwinds still remain, we are well-positioned to meet the world’s growing energy needs as economies start to recover,” Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser was quoted as saying in the statement.
- Revenue rises 20.6% in January-March period¶
The company's revenue for the first quarter of 2021 totaled $72.5 billion, 20.6% up from about $60.1 billion in the same quarter of 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic hit Saudi Arabia hard, causing a decline in both oil exports and oil prices.
In 2020, the kingdom reported a $79.5 billion deficit, with revenues totaling $205.5 billion and expenditures totaling $285 billion.
The company's shares began trading on the country's stock exchange or Tadawul on Dec. 11, 2019. On the first day of trading, the stock rose to 35.2 Saudi riyals, giving it a market capitalization of around $1.88 trillion, and increased further on the second trading day to $2 trillion.
Saudi Aramco was listed as the world's fifth-largest public company in the Forbes Global 2000 list in 2020. The company reported in March 2021 that earnings in 2020 were more than 44% lower than in 2019, due to global lockdowns following the COVID-19 pandemic, which reduced crude demand.
By Sibel Morrow