The oil company Saudi Aramco increased its profits in the first quarter thanks to the high energy prices: the bottom line was 39.5 billion dollars (almost 38 billion euros), an increase of 82 percent compared to the previous year, as the company announced on Sunday.

On Thursday, Saudi Aramco dethroned iPhone maker Apple as the most valuable listed company in the world.

The partially state-owned Saudi Arabian company is the largest oil producing company in the world.

It was valued at $2.42 trillion based on the share price at the close on Wednesday.

At the same time, the stock market value of the US technology group Apple fell to $2.37 trillion.

Saudi Aramco had already doubled corporate profits in 2021: to $110 billion.

The demand for oil rose sharply after the corona pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has now increased demand sharply again.

In recent months, however, the group has had to deal with interruptions caused by attacks by the Houthi rebels from Yemen on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure.

In addition, the currently rising inflation could lead to a reduction in consumer spending - and thus also reduce oil demand.

Saudi Arabia has been trying to become less dependent on oil for several years.

At the end of 2019, the state sold a small part of Saudi Aramco via an IPO and raised more than $29 billion at the time, which should flow into large-scale projects.