Saudi Aramco Says Half-year Net Income Slips To $46.9 Bn
Riyadh, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Aug, 2019 ) :Saudi energy giant Aramco said Monday its first half net income for 2019 slipped nearly 12 percent to $46.9 billion, a first such disclosure that still reinforces its position as the world's most profitable company.
The revenue drop -- on lower crude prices -- was reported as speculation swirled that the state-owned company was stepping up preparations for its much-delayed overseas stock listing, dubbed potentially the world's biggest.
Hosting its first-ever earnings call as the secretive company seeks to boost transparency, Aramco said the deal was at a "very early stage".
Reporting its revenue, Aramco said: "The company's net income was $46.9 billion for the first half (of) 2019, compared to $53.0 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 secretive accounts for the first time in April as it prepares to raise funds from investors.
"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 a company statement.
But in its earnings call, the company gave no timeframe for the planned initial public offering.
But investors have long debated whether Aramco was really valued so much.
The preliminary deal with Reliance, which the Indian giant hailed as the "biggest foreign investment" in its history, underscores Aramco's efforts to diversify its operations and boost its valuation.
"But ultimately the valuation of the company is not determined by the king, the prince or the CEO. It's determined by the banks and the markets." The planned IPO forms the cornerstone of a reform programme envisaged by Prince Mohammed to wean the Saudi economy off its reliance on oil.
- World's biggest profit - The petro-state has taken a number of key procedures in preparation for the IPO, including issuing a law for hydrocarbons tax, appointing a new board for Aramco and allowing an independent auditing of the kingdom's oil reserves, the crown prince said in June.
Aramco has also opened its accounts books for the first time to international ratings agencies, declared the size of its profits and transformed into a public shareholding company, he added.