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Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday posted its first quarterly results following a contested board fight over its direction, registering its biggest profit in more than a year on rebounding demand for oil, gas and chemicals.

Oil producers are taking advantage of a doubling of crude oil prices last quarter to pare debt and increase shareholder payouts rather than spending more to boost production.

Deep cost cuts undertaken last year as the COVID-19 pandemic slashed demand have remained, allowing price gains to bolster profits.

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Oil and gas production led the way in the quarter with an operating profit of US$3.19-billion. Output fell 2 per cent to 3.6 million oil-equivalent barrels per day during the quarter.

The company’s net income for the second quarter came in at US$4.69-billion, or US$1.10 per share, compared with a loss of US$1.08-billion, or 26 cents per share, a year ago, which included a gain related to reversing an inventory writedown. Absent the inventory change, the loss would have been US$3-billion.

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