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Saudi Aramco reports second-highest net income of $121.3bn in 2023

 Aramco, in a press release, emphasized its distinctive operational flexibility, reliability, and cost-effective production base as key factors contributing to its remarkable financial results. Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO of Aramco, highlighted the company's commitment to delivering value to shareholders despite economic challenges, stating that the resilience and agility led to robust cash flows and profitability.

In 2023, Aramco reported a net income of $121.3 billion, marking its second-highest to date but reflecting a decrease from $161.1 billion in 2022. The decline was attributed to lower crude oil prices and volumes, reduced refining and chemical margins, partly offset by decreased production royalties, income taxes, and zakat.

The net income for the fourth quarter of 2023 was $27.8 billion, aligning with analyst consensus, considering specific non-cash charges of approximately $1.5 billion. Aramco declared a total dividend payment of $97.8 billion for 2023, indicating a 30 percent increase from 2022. Additionally, a base dividend of $20.3 billion for Q4 2023 and a $10.8 billion performance-linked dividend, the third of its kind, were announced.

Capital investments in 2023 reached $49.7 billion, reflecting a 28 percent increase from 2022, with projected investments for 2024 ranging from $48 billion to $58 billion. Aramco's free cash flow for 2023 was $101.2 billion, and the gearing ratio at the end of 2023 was -6.3 percent, illustrating a strong balance sheet compared to -7.9 percent at the end of 2022.

Nasser highlighted the Saudi government's directive to maintain Aramco's maximum sustainable capacity at 12 million barrels per day, providing flexibility to focus on increasing gas production and enhancing the liquid-to-chemicals business. He underscored the company's strategic objectives, including the first international investment in LNG, growth in international retail operations, and progress in refining and chemical projects.

During a press conference call, Nasser emphasized Aramco's role in the energy transition, emphasizing the importance of a mix of energy sources. He expressed eagerness to increase participation in renewables, targeting 12 gigawatts in solar and wind by 2030, with plans to expand gas production by over 60 percent. Aramco is also exploring global investments in renewables, including solar, wind, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage, showcasing its commitment to sustainable energy practices.

Nasser concluded by announcing plans to capture 9 million tons of CO2 annually by 2027 through collaborative efforts with Aramco's partners.

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