Saudi Aramco beats quarterly profit forecast

Stronger oil prices helped Saudi Aramco post a 30 percent rise in first-quarter profit.

The state-run oil giant also maintained its dividend payout.

Earnings for energy companies have climbed recently on the back of rising crude prices which are up by about a third this year.

Net income rose to $21.7 billion for the quarter, as fuel demand recovers from the global health crisis.

That was up from $16.7 billion a year earlier, and beating forecasts.

Saudi Aramco, which listed in 2019 said earnings were boosted by stronger crude prices and higher refining margins, helping to offset lower production.

The OPEC+ group had cut output to support prices but agreed on a plan in April to start gradually easing those curbs from May.

Aramco reduced its output as part of that pact.

It says global demand for petroleum products is recovering from its lows in 2020 but remains below pre-crisis levels.

The Saudi Crown Prince has said more Saudi Aramco shares could be sold in the next year or two, including to international investors.