ExxonMobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that it posted a profit of $6.9 billion in the second quarter, down 57 percent from the same period in 2012.

"Excluding the prior year net gain of $7.5 billion associated with divestments and tax-related items, earnings were down 19 percent. Weaker refining margins and volumes associated with planned refinery turnaround and maintenance activities negatively impacted downstream earnings," chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson said in a statement.

Earnings per share came in at $1.55 (assuming dilution) in the second quarter, down 55 percent from the $3.41 per share profit posted in the same period last year, the company said.

"ExxonMobil's second quarter results reflect continued strong operational performance and investments to meet growing demand for oil, natural gas and chemical products in the years ahead," Tillerson said.

The supermajor said cash flow from operations and asset sales totaled $21.9 billion in the April-June period and it distributed more than $14 billion to shareholders in the first six months of 2013 via dividend payments and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding.

"Capital and exploration expenditures were $10.2 billion in the second quarter and $22 billion for the first six months of 2013, in line with anticipated spending plans," Tillerson said.

Shares of ExxonMobil were down $1.04, or 1.11 percent, at $92.71 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. EFE