Oil giant Saudi Aramco earned profits of $13.3bn (£10bn) in 2016, according to reports which emerged as the state-owned producer aims for a valuation of as much as $2 trillion.
Full-year accounts show that net income fell by more than a fifth in 2016 as oil prices weakened, according to Reuters. That compares to income of $33.8bn in the first six months of 2017 alone, according to previous reports by Bloomberg.
The price of a futures contract for one barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell below $30 in early 2016, but has since increased to more than $70.
Revenue was $135bn in 2016, down from $146bn in 2015. The firm had some 67,718 employees in 2016, Reuters said.
Accounts are not publicly disclosed Aramco, which remains a private company despite long-held plans to list. The Saudi state is aiming for a $2 trillion valuation in an initial public offering (IPO), as crown prince Mohammed bin Salman attempts to reorient the nation’s economy away from its dependence on oil wealth, although analysts are sceptical the company can justify that valuation.
The plans sparked a furious lobbying effort from major stock exchanges to host the listing, with New York, London and Hong Kong mooted as favourites, potentially in a dual listing alongside Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul exchange. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has gone so far as to change listing rules to make it easier for sovereign-controlled firms to list.
However, the IPO has been delayed, with British government officials reportedly told that it may not take place until 2019 at the earliest. The Wall Street Journal last week reported that company insiders doubt whether the listing will ever take place.
The Saudi state has not yet decided on whether to pursue a listing, the chief executive of Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasser, told the Financial Times this week.
Nasser also warned that demand could outstrip supply as big producers focus on short-term projects.