Wood has a positive view of future trends

Wood Group, the oil and gas services heavyweight, said it was looking at the second half of this year and 2011 with "increasing confidence", despite reporting flat turnover and a slip in profits in the first half.

Allister Langlands, Wood's chief executive, yesterday said growth would be spurred by demand for oil from China, Latin America and India while demand from western economies was likely to remain subdued.

Although the Aberdeen-based firm derives 4 per cent of its revenues from deep water operations in the Gulf of Mexico, Langlands said the impact of the current ban on offshore drilling following the Deepwater Horizon incident was "not significant" for the firm but he added an extended ban "could have some impact" in 2011 or 2012.

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But he noted that increased regulation in the wake of the disaster would likely be a boost to the firm.

"We will probably see a market that is more regulated going forward and greater regulation can sometimes lead to higher demand for services from companies such as ourselves," Langlands said.

Half-year results showed the firm made pre-tax profits of $122.6 million (79.4m) down from $160.8m in the same period last year on flat turnover of $2.4 billion. The interim dividend was raised to 3.4 cents from 3.1 cents last year.

Analysts at Evolution Securities welcomed a "strong result" from Wood's well support division and rated the firm a "buy".