Tuesday 12 May 2020 8:57 am

Saudi Aramco profit falls 25 per cent on oil price implosion

State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco saw its first quarter profit fall 25 per cent as the coronavirus crisis decimated the price of crude oil.

Over the course of the quarter, the price of worldwide standard Brent crude fell roughly two-thirds, sending the firm to a 62.5bn riyals (£13.5bn) profit, down from 83.3bn riyals a year ago.

The slide was greater than that which analysts had forecast for the quarter. 

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

Chief executive Amin Nasser said: “Looking ahead to the remainder of 2020, we expect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global energy demand and oil prices to weigh on our earnings”.

The results come after it was revealed that Aramco will cut production by an additional 1m barrels per day to bolster the already-record-breaking Opec output cuts.

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As of this month, the oil producing alliance has begun cutting production by 9.7m barrels per day in a bid to stabilise an extremely volatile global oil market.

Brent crude is currently trading just above $30 per barrel, helped higher by the Saudi Arabian pledge.

Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, which listed as a public company for the first time in December, said it had paid out dividends of £10.9bn for the first quarter.

Aramco added that its acquisition of a 70 per cent stake in petrochemicals company Sabic was on track to close in the second quarter, although the $70bn deal is likely to be restructured due to the pandemic.