RIYADH: Saudi Aramco’s profit surged 124 percent in 2021, more than the average of analysts' expectations.
Profits of what was said to be “the most profitable oil company in the world” hit SR412 billion ($110 billion), compared to SR184 billion a year earlier, the oil major revealed in a bourse filing.
The profit hike was driven by an increase in revenue that roared to SR1.35 trillion, recording a 75-percent rise year-on-year.
Analysts had expected a net profit of $106 billion in 2021, according to the mean estimate of analysts in Refinitiv's Eikon. Al Rajhi Capital’s forecast stood at SR420 billion.
The jump in profit was anticipated on the back of high oil prices and an ease in restraints on its production under the OPEC+ deal in response to an overall global recovery in demand.
Aramco kept annual dividends unchanged from a year earlier at $75 billion after declaring an $18.6 billion payout for the fourth quarter of 2021.
Along with solid results, the company’s board proposed granting bonus shares valued at $4 billion to shareholders amid plans to increase capital by 25 percent.
The oil giant, which holds the second-largest market value globally of SR8.27 trillion as of Mar. 17, benefited from rising oil prices which continue to soar to date and traded this year at levels not seen since 2014.
Higher profits were also attributed to “stronger refining and chemicals margins, and the consolidation of SABIC’s full-year results,” Aramco noted.
Capital expenditure during the year rose to $31.9 billion, fueled by “increased activities in relation to crude oil increments, Tanajib Gas Plant and development drilling programs,” the company said, adding that it expects this year’s capital expenditure to be nearly $40-50 billion.
“Although economic conditions have improved considerably, the outlook remains uncertain due to various macro-economic and geopolitical factors,” said CEO Amin Nasser, commenting on the results.
“Our investment plan aims to tap into rising long-term demand for reliable, affordable, and ever more secure and sustainable energy,” he added.
In line with bumper earnings and dividends, Aramco announced a growth strategy that includes raising crude oil capacity to 13 million barrels per day by 2027 as well as increasing gas production by over 50 percent by 2030.
The company stated it “intends to develop a significant hydrogen export capability and become a global leader in carbon capture and storage.”