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Saudi Aramco posts 25% quarterly profit fall

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Energy giant Saudi Aramco on Tuesday posted a 25% slump in first-quarter profit and said the coronavirus crisis which triggered a crash in oil prices would weigh heavily on demand in the year ahead.

Aramco was listed on the Saudi stock market in December following a historic US$29.4 billion initial public offering – the world’s largest – but since then has faced a torrid environment.

Oil prices slumped to nearly two-decade lows in March, losing almost two-thirds of their value as the coronavirus pandemic sent the world into recession.

Prices plummeted further in April amid a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia as the major producers scrambled to secure market share.

“The Covid-19 crisis is unlike anything the world has experienced in recent history and we are adapting to a highly complex and rapidly changing business environment,” CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement. 

Aramco said that a steep decline in global demand for energy and prices caused by the pandemic would undermine its full-year results.

“Longer term we remain confident that demand for energy will rebound as global economies recover,” Nasser said.

The world’s largest listed firm posted a net profit of 62.5 billion riyals ($16.66 billion) in the three months to March, compared with $22.2 billion a year earlier.

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