Petrofac stock up despite interim profits slide

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SHARES in oil services group Petrofac jumped yesterday as the firm promised a strong second half to the year.

The group, which has bases in Aberdeen and Montrose, saw first-half profits slide by a quarter to $243 million (£156.3m) but said it was on track to meet full-year forecasts.

Investors were also cheered by a 21 per cent increase in the order backlog in the last six months, to $14.3 billion.

Chief executive Ayman Asfari said: “We look ahead with confidence in our ability to deliver a strong second-half performance and achieve our guidance of modest growth in net profit for 2013.

“Our high-quality portfolio of existing projects reflects our disciplined approach to bidding and managing risk, which, together with a strong pipeline of bidding opportunities and our competitive positioning, means that we remain on track to achieve our 2015 earnings target.”

Helal Miah, investment analyst at The Share Centre, said the interim profit figure was still better than expected, while Petrofac also had a strong pipeline for bidding opportunities stretching into next year.

He said: “So long as the world economy is energy hungry there will be a continuous demand for services from companies like Petrofac and the record levels of order backlogs continue to increase.”

Petrofac also announced a $95m maintenance deal for a Gazprom oil field in Iraq yesterday.

Petrofac was the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 as shares added 8.5 per cent to close at 1,373p.