FILE PHOTO: Saudi Aramco logo is pictured at the oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
By Hadeel Al Sayegh and Maha El Dahan
DUBAI (Reuters) -Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco (TADAWUL:2222) on Sunday reported a record annual net profit of $161.1 billion for 2022, up 46% from the year earlier, on higher energy prices, increased volumes sold and improved margins for refined products.
The profits follow similar reports in February from international peers BP (NYSE:BP), Shell (LON:RDSa), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) which have mostly posted record profits for last year.
Oil prices swung wildly in 2022, climbing on geopolitical worries amid the war in Ukraine, then sliding on weaker demand from top importer China and worries of an economic contraction.
Aramco declared a dividend of $19.5 billion for the fourth quarter, an increase of 4% from the previous quarter.
Its board also recommended to issue bonus shares, with shareholders receiving one share for every 10 shares owned.
Aramco was expected to post a net profit of $162.17 billion, according to a mean of seven analysts polled by Refinitiv Eikon.
Prices surged in March as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended global crude flows, with international benchmark Brent reaching $139.13 a barrel, highest since 2008. Prices cooled rapidly in the second half as central banks hiked interest rates and fanned worries of recession.