Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco has reported a nearly four-fold increase in net income for Q2 2021, benefitting from recovering demand and higher oil prices.

In the second three-month period to June, the company’s net income was $25.5bn. The figure represents a 288% rise from $6.6bn recorded in the same quarter a year ago.

Aramco’s net profit in the first half of the year was $47.2bn, an increase of 103% compared with  $23.2bn in the last year.

The company attributed the increase to higher crude prices and improved downstream margins among others. However, the results were partially affected by the decline in sales and higher crude oil production royalties.

Aramco’s free cash flow increased from $6.1bn in Q2 2020 to $22.6bn in Q2 2021.

Capital expenditure totalled $7.5bn in the quarter and $15.7bn in the first six months of 2021.

Aramco also declared a dividend of $18.8bn in the second quarter, aligned with its own target.

Aramco president and CEO Amin H Nasser said: “Our second-quarter results reflect a strong rebound in worldwide energy demand and we are heading into the second half of 2021 more resilient and more flexible, as the global recovery gains momentum.

“While there is still some uncertainty around the challenges posed by Covid-19 variants, we have shown that we can adapt swiftly and effectively to changing market conditions.”

In the second quarter, Aramco reported average total hydrocarbon production of 11.7Mboepd.