Apple has become the world’s most profitable company with a reported net income of US$59 billion, after the COVID-19 economic downturn pushed Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest exporter, from its perch.
Apple maintained its high margins over 2020 as consumers stuck in lockdown bought up iPhones, Macs and iPads, leading it to eclipse revenue expectations over the December 2020 quarter.
The tech behemoth’s sales were up 17 per cent year-on-year to US$65.6 billion over the Christmas quarter.
Saudi Aramco’s rough ride
The petroleum giant saw its net income slide 44 per cent over 2020, down to US$49 billion after oil price plunged.
Demand for oil fell off a cliff in 2020 as the pandemic saw international and much of domestic travel indefinitely paused.
“In one of the most challenging years in recent history, Aramco demonstrated its unique value proposition through its considerable financial and operational agility,” Aramco president and CEO Amin H. Nasser said.
“Our exceptional performance during such testing times owed much to the unwavering spirit and resilience of our employees, who set operational records and continued to meet the world’s energy needs both safely and reliably.”
However, with oil prices poised for a strong rebound, Saudi Aramco could soon reclaim the title.
Figures from the International Energy Agency show that the world’s oil demand could surpass pre-COVID levels by 2023 as developing economies across Asia require more.
“Looking ahead, our long-term strategy to optimize our oil and gas portfolio is on track and, as the macro environment improves, we are seeing a pick-up in demand in Asia and also positive signs elsewhere,” Nasser said.
“We remain confident that we will emerge on the other side of this pandemic in a position of strength.”
Apple charger fine just 0.00007 per cent of 2020 revenue
The decision to sell the charger separately was deemed a violation of the consumer defense code, leading São Paulo authorities to fine the company.However, that fine will barely dent Apple’s finances, costing it just 0.00007 per cent of its 2020 revenue