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Riyadh: Saudi Arabian state-owned oil giant Aramco expects to pay $31 billion in dividends despite reporting lower earnings for the first quarter.

According to a company earnings statement, Aramco reported a first-quarter net income of $27.3 billion in the three months to March 31, down 19 per cent from $31.9 billion a year earlier.

The company declared base dividend payouts for the first quarter totalling $20.3 billion and a performance-linked dividend distribution of $10.8 billion to be paid in the second quarter.

It expects total dividends of $124.3 billion to be declared in 2024, including a base dividend of $81.2 billion2 and a performance-linked dividend of $43.1 billion.

Commenting on the results, Aramco President & CEO Amin H. Nasser said: "Our first-quarter performance reflects the resilience and strength of Aramco, reinforcing our position as a leading supplier of energy to economies, to industries and to people worldwide.

"We also continue to execute our long-term strategy, and in the first quarter made significant progress on expanding our gas business and growing our globally-integrated downstream value chain, while maintaining our focus on consistently delivering value for our shareholders."