Saudi Aramco profits exceed expectations on back of buoyed oil price

Saudi Aramco’s net profits surpassed analyst expectations as it revealed the impact of deeper production cuts this summer after the kingdom moved to prop up the oil price.

The state-run company, which pumps almost 10 per cent of world oil supplies, reported a net profit of $32.6bn for the three months to September 30, exceeding the median forecast of $31.8bn by analysts.

Saudi Aramco said it would maintain its quarterly base dividend payment at $19.5bn in the fourth quarter with a second performance-linked dividend of $9.9bn to be paid based on returns since 2022 in a boost to the state’s funds.

In the first nine months of the year, dividends have totalled $68.4bn compared with $56.3bn in the same period last year.

The Saudi government owns more than 90 per cent of Aramco’s shares with another 8 per cent held by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, but a sliver of equity was listed in Riyadh in 2019.

Its market capitalisation is $2.16tn, making it the world’s third-largest company behind only Apple and Microsoft.