Saudi Aramco reported Monday that the company earned $47 billion in the first half of 2019. The earnings report was a first in the secretive company’s long history and reflected a challenging market: The company said the profits represented a decline from $53 billion in the period a year earlier, when oil prices were higher.
The results indicate that the Saudi national oil company, the world’s largest oil producer, is still enormously profitable compared to its peers. By comparison, Exxon Mobil, the largest American oil company, earned $5.5 billion for the first half of 2019, while Royal Dutch Shell, the largest European player in the industry, reported a net income of $9 billion so far this year.
“Despite lower oil prices during the first half of 2019 we continued to deliver solid earnings,” the company chief executive, Amin H. Nasser, said in a statement. Mr. Nasser also said that disclosing the financial results marked “a significant milestone in Saudi Aramco’s history.”
The earnings statement came on the same day that Reliance Industries in India announced that Saudi Aramco would buy a 20 percent stake in its refining and petrochemical business. Saudi Aramco has been diversifying and expanding into the Asian refineries industry.
The company has scheduled a call for 2 p.m. Monday BST to discuss the half-year results with analysts and potential investors. The efforts at transparency by Saudi Aramco in recent months are seen as part of plan to revive a long-delayed initial public offering.
The company had long declined to disclose key metrics, including how much oil it is producing and how much cash those millions of barrels are bringing in. In April, though, it broke precedent and accompanied a well-received bond offering with a detailed prospectus that provided investors with a wide range of financial and oil statistics.
Because the bonds are publicly traded, Aramco is now required to publish financial results.