05/04/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/04/2021 00:27
The Saudi Arabian Oil Company ('Aramco' or 'the Company') today announced its first quarter financial results, posting a 30% year-on-year increase in net income to $21.7 billion and declaring a dividend of $18.8 billion to be paid in Q2. The results were underpinned by higher oil prices and an improved economic environment in the first three months of 2021.
Commenting on the results, Aramco President & CEO Amin H. Nasser, said:
'The momentum provided by the global economic recovery has strengthened energy markets, and Aramco's operational flexibility, financial agility and the resilience of our employees have contributed to a strong first quarter performance. For our customers we remain a supplier of choice, and for our shareholders we continue to deliver an exceptional quarterly dividend.
'We made further progress towards our strategic objectives during the quarter and our portfolio optimization program continues to identify value creation opportunities, such as the recent announcement of our landmark $12.4 billion pipeline infrastructure deal. We also expect Saudi Arabia's newly-launched Shareek program to present growth opportunities, through incentives which encourage partnerships and investment.
'Given the positive signs for energy demand in 2021, there are more reasons to be optimistic that better days are coming. And while some headwinds still remain, we are well-positioned to meet the world's growing energy needs as economies start to recover.'
Aramco's net income was $21.7 billion for the first quarter, a 30% increase from $16.7 billion in Q1 2020, primarily driven by a stronger oil market and higher refining and chemicals margins, partly offset by lower production.
Cash flow from operating activities and free cash flow* was $26.5 billion and $18.3 billion respectively in the first quarter, while first quarter capital expenditure stood at $8.2 billion.
Aramco's gearing ratio* remained unchanged at 23.0% on March 31, 2021, compared to December 31, 2020.
Aramco declared a dividend of $18.8 billion for the first quarter, to be paid in Q2 2021.
Aramco demonstrated reliable upstream performance with an average total hydrocarbon production of 11.5 million barrels per day of oil equivalent in the first quarter of 2021, including 8.6 million barrels per day of crude oil.
The Company maintained its exceptional track record as a global energy supplier, achieving 100% reliability in its deliveries to customers during the first quarter.
In January, Aramco partnered with STC, a leading telecom and technology services company, to launch one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, Dammam 7. Its high-performance computing capability of 55.4 petaflops presents new opportunities in both exploration and development, enhancing Aramco's ability to predict the location of new reserves using sophisticated imaging and artificial intelligence deep learning technologies. Dammam 7 supports Aramco's digital transformation program, complementing a suite of advanced technologies that are reshaping core operations, driving efficiencies and reinforcing its industry leadership.
During the first quarter, Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company, partners in the Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) joint venture, entered into agreements relating to their Sadara joint venture. This includes extending the debt repayment tenure, a grace period for interest payments and sponsor guarantees. It further includes other agreements with respect to procurement of feedstock and marketing rights for Sadara's finished products.
Aramco planted more than 500,000 trees during the first quarter, successfully completing its program to plant one million trees. The program's main objective is to mitigate desertification, sequester carbon, and enhance native biodiversity. The One Million Trees Initiative aligns with the United Nations Biodiversity and Sustainability Development Goals, and is part of the Company's commitment to protecting the environment.
The Company also contributed to COVID-19 vaccination efforts during the first quarter to protect its workforce and the wider community from the risk of infection. As of April 30, more than 178,000 Aramco employees, retirees and their dependents had received vaccinations. This includes around 85% of the Aramco workforce. These were administered either through Aramco's vaccination program, being conducted from 14 locations across Saudi Arabia in conjunction with its medical partner Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, or through a government vaccination scheme.