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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 14:03 GMT
Exxon Mobil sets US profit record
Oil rig
Exxon is the world's largest oil company
Exxon Mobil, the world's largest oil company, has reported the highest-ever annual profit by a US business.

Boosted by record global energy prices in the first half of the year, its 2006 net profit totalled $39.5bn (20bn), a 9% increase on $36.1bn in 2005.

Its 2006 revenues rose to $377.6bn, from $286bn a year earlier.

Global oil prices hit a high of $78 a barrel last summer at the time of the conflict in southern Lebanon although they have since fallen back to $58.

Fourth quarter dip

Petrol prices have also since retreated after reaching highs of $3 a gallon in the US in August.

The decline in oil and petrol prices towards the end of the 2006 meant Exxon's profits for October to December dipped 4.3%.

Its net profit for the fourth quarter fell to $10.3bn (5.2bn) from $10.7bn for the same period in 2005.

Exxon's 2006 profits were 69% higher than those of its Anglo-Dutch rival Royal Dutch Shell, which also reported its annual results on Thursday.

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