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Tuesday 12 May 2020

Aramco 1st-Quarter Net Profit Slides 25%

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DUBAI (Reuters) — Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco on Tuesday reported a 25% fall in first-quarter net profit, below analyst estimates, hurt by lower crude oil prices as the coronavirus slashed demand.

Brent crude prices fell 65% in the first quarter, before OPEC+ producers agreed to cut oil supply by a record 9.7 mln barrel per day starting from May to help shore up prices and curb oversupply.

Net profit fell to 62.48 bln riyals ($16.64 bln) after zakat and tax for the quarter to March 31 from 83.29 bln a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of $17.8 bln, according to the mean estimate from Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes, Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Capital and Dubai-based Arqaam Capital.

Aramco said the results reflected “lower crude oil prices, as well as declining refining and chemicals margins and inventory re-measurement losses.”

Aramco has kept its oil output at around 9.7 mln barrels per day during the first three months of the year under an OPEC+ supply cut pact, before opening the oil taps in April after the collapse of earlier supply cut talks in early March.

The world’s top oil producing company, which went public last year, has said total dividends of $13.4 bln were paid in the first quarter, in respect of the fourth quarter of 2019. Dividends of $18.75 bln will be paid in the second quarter.

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