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Annual profits top $36bn at ExxonMobil

(Sharecast News) - ExxonMobil posted above-forecast earnings on Friday, as increased production helped offset a decline in energy prices. Annual net earnings came in at $36.01bn, down on last year's $55.7bn but otherwise the US oil major's highest since 2012.

Last year's results benefited from the surge in oil and gas prices to record highs following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The 2023 numbers also included a $2bn impairment charge relating to assets in California, which Exxon is trying to offload.

Once stripped out, earnings fell 35% to $38.6bn.

In the fourth quarter, adjusted earnings per share eased to $2.48 from $3.40 a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting EPS closer to $2.22.

Exxon's main assets are in the massive Permian Basin, which stretches across Texas and New Mexico, and in Guyana, where it discovered 11bn barrels of oil in 2015. Exxon said production at the assets had increased by 18% during the year.

Upstream annual earnings came in at $21.3bn. Exxon said: "Higher volumes and improved mix, mainly from Guyana and Permian growth, and stronger gas realisations more than offset lower crude realisations, unfavourable tax impacts and year-end inventory effects."

Darren Woods, chief executive, said: "These results demonstrate the fundamental improvements we've made to our business, reflecting our progress in high-grading our portfolio through investments in advantaged projects and select divestments while at the same time driving a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness throughout the business."

Exxon is the latest oil giant to report bumper results, albeit down on the previous year.

Also on Friday, US peer Chevron posted net income of $21.bn, down from $35.5bn a year previously but otherwise its highest since 2013.

And on Thursday, Shell said 2023 profits fell to $28.2bn from $39.9bn. The 2022 earnings were the company's highest-ever.

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