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Saudi listed companies report Q1 profit rise

A Tadawul trader looks at prices on the Saudi stock exchange. Aramco's profits have fallen as Riyadh reduces oil output Alamy via Reuters
A Tadawul trader looks at prices on the Saudi stock exchange. Aramco's profits have fallen as Riyadh reduces oil output
  • 8% increase for non-oil companies
  • Gains in banking, telecoms and mining
  • Profit down 8% if Aramco is included

Businesses listed on the Saudi stock exchange, excluding the state energy giant Aramco, reported an 8 percent rise in first-quarter profits this year, highlighting the continued strength of the non-oil sector as hydrocarbon output is cut. 

Net profit gains in the banking sector, and for telecoms operator STC and state mining company Maaden, helped to bring total profit to SAR32.5 billion ($8.7 billion) for the listed companies, according to calculations by Saudi financial news site Argaam

When Saudi Aramco’s results are factored in, the aggregate Q1 figure is SAR135.8 billion, a decline of 8 percent on the same period last year. 

Aramco has reported a 14 percent fall in its Q1 net profit to around $27 billion, as a result of lower oil prices and volumes. The government in Riyadh introduced a policy of output cuts in 2022 in an effort to prop up global oil prices. 

The policy led to a GDP contraction of 0.8 percent in 2023, but the non-oil economy has grown. It now makes up 50 percent of Saudi GDP, according to government statistics. 

Saudi Arabia’s government has an 82 percent stake in Aramco and dividends constitute a significant part of its revenue. The Public Investment Fund, the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, owns 16 percent. The remaining 2 percent is publicly traded.

Despite the Q1 results, Aramco said it would distribute higher dividends to its investors and the government. 

It plans to pay a $31 billion dividend in the first quarter as it continues to fuel Saudi Arabia’s budget and Vision 2030 spending on giga-projects that aim to diversify the economy.

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