Energy giant Saudi Aramco on Sunday posted a 44.4 percent slump in 2020 net profit due to lower crude prices, as the coronavirus pandemic weighed heavily on global demand.
“Aramco achieved a net income of $49 billion in 2020,” the company added in a statement, compared to $88.2 billion in the previous year.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, was hammered last year by the double whammy of low prices and sharp cuts in production.
“The company displayed strong financial resilience in one of the most challenging periods for the industry,” the Aramco statement said.
“Revenues were impacted by lower crude oil prices and volumes sold, and weakened refining and chemicals margins.”
Crude prices have risen in recent weeks to over $60 per barrel.
But analysts say the Saudi giant is bracing for a possible further wave of coronavirus infections that could undermine a tentative global economic recovery and further erode global demand for crude.
Aramco has revealed consecutive falls in profits since it began disclosing earnings in 2019.