Aberdeen's Wood signals brighter times on horizon after Covid-battered first half

Wood, the Aberdeen-headquartered energy and engineering services heavyweight, has given an upbeat outlook for the year after first-half revenues were hit hard by the pandemic.

Robin Watson is chief executive of Aberdeen-headquartered FTSE-250 group Wood.
Robin Watson is chief executive of Aberdeen-headquartered FTSE-250 group Wood.

In a trading update, the firm forecast a double-digit drop in half-year revenue as it received smaller contracts during the Covid crisis. It flagged a like-for-like figure of about $3.2 billion (£2.3bn), down 21 per cent on a year earlier.

The FTSE 250 group was hit hard by the slide in oil prices last spring, resulting in a hefty loss before tax last year.

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Chief executive Robin Watson pointed to an improving picture for the remainder of 2021.

He told investors: “Improving activity levels and order book growth underpin our confidence in the delivery of a stronger second half, with the group returning to growth relative to both [the first half of] 2021 and H2 2020. Our outlook for the full year remains unchanged.”

The group’s order book at the end of May stood at $6.9bn, up some 6 per cent on December 2020 with good growth at its consulting and operations division. It signalled an improving outlook in projects supporting an anticipated order book build in the second half.

Stuart Lamont, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin Aberdeen said: “It has been a relatively slow start to the year for Wood, with revenues down around one-fifth on the same period in 2020.

“Nevertheless, the management team appears to remain confident in the outlook and order book momentum at its operations and consulting divisions looks positive, suggesting the company can get back on track in the second half of the year.”

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