Saudi Aramco's H1 net income at $46.9B
Despite lower oil prices during the first half of 2019, Saudi Aramco continued to deliver solid earnings.
Riyadh - First such disclosure still reinforces its position as world's most profitable company
Saudi energy giant Aramco said on Monday its first half net income for 2019 slipped nearly 12 per cent to $46.9 billion, a first such disclosure that still reinforces its position as the world's most profitable company.
The revenue drop amid lower crude prices was reported as speculation swirled that the secretive company was preparing for its much-delayed overseas stock listing, dubbed potentially the world's biggest.
The news also coincided with an announcement by India's Reliance that it had agreed to sell a 20 per cent stake in its oil and chemicals business - worth $15 billion - to Aramco, a deal that would potentially boost the Saudi giant's valuation ahead of an IPO.
Reporting its revenue, Aramco said in a statement: "The company's net income was $46.9 billion for the first half [of] 2019, compared to $53 billion for the same period last year."
It is the first time the company has published half-year financial results and comes after Aramco opened its accounts for the first time in April as it prepares to raise funds from investors.
The company was slated to hold its first-ever earnings call later on Monday, giving investors a chance to discuss the results with Aramco's management in another step towards greater transparency.
"Despite lower oil prices during the first half of 2019, we continued to deliver solid earnings and strong free cash flow underpinned by our consistent operational performance, cost management and fiscal discipline," Aramco CEO Amin Nasser was quoted as saying in the statement.
Analysts say record demand for a $12 billion debut international bond launched this year has propelled the world's top oil exporter to speed up efforts to float the company.
But Monday's statement made no mention of the planned initial public offering.