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Saudi Aramco beats quarterly revenue forecast, maintains dividend By Reuters 

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view exhibits branded oil tanks at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq

By Hadeel Al Sayegh, Saeed Azhar and Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI (Reuters) -State-run oil producer Saudi Aramco (SE:) beat analysts’ forecasts on Tuesday with a 30% rise in first-quarter internet revenue and maintained its dividend payout, helped by robust oil costs.

Earnings by world power firms corresponding to Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) have climbed on the again of rising crude costs, that are up by a couple of third this yr, as gas demand recovers from the pandemic and as a worldwide surplus of crude shrinks.

“Given the optimistic indicators for power demand in 2021, there are extra causes to be optimistic that higher days are coming,” Amin Nasser, chief govt of the world’s high oil exporter, mentioned in a press release.

“And whereas some headwinds nonetheless stay, we’re well-positioned to fulfill the world’s rising power wants as economies begin to get well,” he mentioned.

Web revenue rose to $21.7 billion for the quarter to March 31 from $16.7 billion a yr earlier. Aramco had been forecast to ship internet revenue of $19.48 billion, in response to a mean primarily based on estimates by 5 analysts.

Aramco, which listed in 2019 with the sale of a 1.7% stake primarily to the Saudi public and regional establishments, mentioned earnings have been boosted by stronger crude costs and better refining and chemical substances margins, serving to offset decrease manufacturing.

The OPEC+ group, the alliance that teams the Group of the Petroleum Exporting International locations, Russia and several other different producers, have minimize output to assist costs however agreed on a plan in April to start out progressively easing these curbs from Might 1.

Aramco, which decreased its output as a part of that pact and because of Saudi Arabia’s further voluntary manufacturing cuts, mentioned world demand for petroleum merchandise was recovering from its lows in 2020 however remained beneath pre-pandemic ranges.

Aramco declared a dividend of $18.8 billion for the primary quarter, to be paid within the second quarter, according to firm steerage of a $75 billion dividend for this yr.

Aramco mentioned it anticipated capital expenditures to be round $35 billion in 2021, in comparison with the unique steerage of $40 billion to $45 billion.

Aramco common complete hydrocarbon manufacturing got here in at 11.5 million barrels per day of oil equal within the first quarter of 2021. That features 8.6 million barrels per day of .

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has mentioned extra Aramco shares may very well be offered within the subsequent yr or two, together with to worldwide buyers. He has mentioned the dominion was in talks to promote 1% to a number one world power firm.

The dominion’s de facto ruler additionally introduced final month a brand new initiative known as Shareek or Accomplice, during which massive Saudi firms together with Aramco would lead non-public sector investments within the home economic system over the subsequent 10 years.

HSBC in an fairness notice to purchasers mentioned the transfer might limit headroom to develop dividends a lot within the subsequent few years.

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