Exxon claims world's highest annual profits for 2008

Exxon Mobil has posted the highest net profit declared by any publicly listed company in 2008. The US oil giant, despite a 33 % income decline in the fourth quarter, earned a 45.22 billion dollar net profit.


AFP - US oil giant Exxon Mobil on Friday notched a record 45.22 billion dollar net profit in 2008 despite a 33 percent income decline in the fourth quarter amid plunging crude prices.

It was the biggest annual profit declared by any publicly listed company in the world, coming on the back of crude's triple-digit price for most of the year, rocketing to a record peak above 147 dollars a barrel in July.

The Irving, Texas-based company shattered its own annual profit record of 40.6 billion dollars posted in 2007 even as fourth-quarter income declined to 7.82 billion dollars.

The fourth-quarter profit drop was the biggest since 2001 as oil prices collapsed at the end of 2008 amid recession in the United States and most of the industrialized world following financial turmoil.

Its quarterly profit was equivalent to 1.55 dollars per share compared to analysts expectations of 1.45 dollars.

Exxon, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, said that weaker crude oil prices, higher operating expenses, lower chemical volumes and the impact of hurricanes that hit the US Gulf Coast in the fourth quarter were partly offset by higher downstream margins.

The company also said that it would invest more than one billion dollars in three refineries in the United States and Europe to increase the supply of cleaner fuel.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning