By Hadeel Al Sayegh and Saeed Azhar
DUBAI (Reuters) -Saudi Arabian state oil producer Aramco on Sunday reported a near four-fold rise in second-quarter net profit, boosted by higher oil prices and a recovery on oil demand.
Aramco said its results were supported by the global easing of COVID-19 restrictions, vaccination campaigns, stimulus measures and accelerating economic activity in key markets.
Oil prices, boosted by output cuts made by OPEC and other oil producers, closed at $70.70 a barrel on Friday and has gained over 35% since the start of the year. [O/R]
Net profit rose to 95.47 billion riyals ($25.46 billion) for the quarter to June 30 from 24.62 billion riyals a year earlier.
Analysts had expected a net profit of $23.2 billion, according to the mean estimate from five analysts.
It declared a dividend of $18.8 billion in the second quarter, which will be paid in the third quarter.
«Our second quarter results reflect a strong rebound in worldwide energy demand and we are heading into the second half of 2021 more resilient and more flexible, as the global recovery
gains momentum,» Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement.
Aramco raised $6 billion in June with its first U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk sale, that was expected to help fund a large dividend that will mostly go to the government.
A consortium including Washington DC-based EIG Global Energy Partners in June closed a deal to buy 49% of Aramco’s pipelines business for $12.4 billion.
($1 = 3.7501 riyals)
(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Saeed AzharEditing by Raissa Kasolowsky and David Evans)