Weir Group making '˜good progress' as profits rise 12%

Engineering group Weir today said it was on track to deliver 'strong' growth for the full year after reporting higher first-half earnings.

Weir Group said its markets were moving from an 'intense downturn into a recovery and growth phase'. Picture: David McNew/Getty Images

The Glasgow-based group, which earlier this month said its oil and gas division had been boosted by a stronger-than-expected recovery in its North American upstream markets, revealed a pre-tax profit of £92m for the six months to the end of June, an increase of 12 per cent on a year earlier.

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Weir, which makes machinery and pumps for the energy and mining sectors, saw revenues jump 26 per cent to £1.1 billion but held its interim dividend steady at 15p a share.

Chief executive Jon Stanton said: “The first half of 2017 saw the group make good progress as we fully captured opportunities in our main markets.

“In North America, the oil and gas division delivered a great set of results with margins rapidly improving in recent weeks. Demand increased sequentially, demonstrating shale’s position as a competitive and sustainable source of global energy supply. Mining markets also continued to improve with good demand for Weir’s technology as customers sought to increase productivity.”

Stanton said that Weir’s two main business streams were now moving from “an intense downturn into a recovery and growth phase”, adding that the group expects to deliver “strong constant currency revenue and profit growth” for the year as a whole.

• Energy services heavyweight Petrofac has signed contracts worth more than $100m (£77m) in Iraq, writes Scott Reid.

The group, which has a major base in Aberdeen, said the deals reflected the “extensive track record” it has been amassing in the country since 2010. It builds upon $70m of new awards in Iraq announced in April, giving the firm “good visibility of future work” in the country and securing some 250 jobs.

Mani Rajapathy, managing director, engineering and production services east for Petrofac, said: “We’re delighted the international oil companies in Iraq continue to choose Petrofac to support their operations.

“Iraq is an important market for us and, as evidenced by the number of awards we’ve secured there this year, we’ve consistently proven our delivery and execution capability on behalf of our clients.”

The group has also benefited from greater stability in global oil prices of late.