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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Aramco’s profits soared by 30% for the first-quarter of the year, compared to last year, riding on the back of higher crude oil prices, the oil company said Tuesday.

The company’s financial results show a net income of $21.7 billion for the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2020 when Aramco’s earnings plunged to $16.7 billion as the early effects of the coronavirus pandemic were beginning to dramatically drive down global demand for oil.

Aramco said the increase in profits primarily reflects the impact of higher crude oil prices brought on by increased global demand for crude amid ongoing vaccination programs and the reopening of the economy in several countries.

The company also confirmed it would deliver on a promised dividend payout of $18.75 billion for its shareholders. Aramco is more than 98% owned by the Saudi government, with 1.7% traded on the Saudi stock exchange.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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