Oil giant Saudi Aramco said on Sunday its profits soared more than 80% in the first three months of the year as the state-backed company took advantage of volatility in global energy markets and of the oil price spike following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The first-quarter windfall earnings of the company formerly known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co show record net profit of $39.5 billion, up from $21.7 billion in the same period last year.
Already, the pick-up in economic activity and the easing of global coronavirus restrictions had revived demand for hydrocarbons and provided strong annual results for the state-backed company last year.
Oil prices hit a 14-year high of $139 a barrel in March immediately following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although they subsequently retreated as Russian oil continued to sink and new blockages were hurting demand for oil in China. International benchmark Brent traded above $111 a barrel on Sunday.
Aramco has overtaken Apple as the world’s most valuable company as rising oil prices pushed its shares to record highs last week, with the company’s market capitalization at $2.43 trillion.
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