Saudi Aramco, “the world’s most valued company”, has seen profits fall by a quarter in the first three months of 2020.

Despite taking out a $10bn loan from a collection of banks, and being told by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Energy to make further cuts to production, the company is still paying out more than $13bn in dividends for its performance in Q4 2019. Later this year, it plans to pay out more than $18bn for Q1 2020.

The company’s net income stood at $16.4bn in the year to March.

President and CEO Amin H. Nasser said: “We have delivered solid earnings with robust free cash flow, despite weak energy demand and low oil prices. We remain committed to the safety of our people while delivering on our long-term value creation strategy for all of our shareholders.

“During the first quarter, we took steps to further optimize our planned 2020 capital spending and identified opportunities to improve operational productivity.”