Bid target Kentz remains confident on oil sector

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Engineering group Kentz, which has attracted the interest of two rivals, today said it remained upbeat about the prospects for the oil and gas industry as it reported a rise in first-half earnings.

The firm, which began life as an Irish electrical contractor, last week rebuffed bids from larger London-listed rival Amec and Germany’s M+W Group, saying the offers undervalued the company. Amec’s approach valued Kentz at about £680 million.

Kentz chairman Tan Sri Razali said today: “Despite a more cautious outlook from many companies in the oil services sector, the board of Kentz remain confident that we can continue to deliver strong growth and returns for our shareholders.”

He was speaking as the firm reported a 3 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to $52.7m (£34m) for the six months to the end of June, on revenues 2 per cent higher at $775.2m.

The interim dividend was hiked 20 per cent to 6.6c a share.