Keiller wants cohesion as Wood unveils profit hike

Bob Keiller is aiming for increased integration
Bob Keiller is aiming for increased integration
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Wood Group chief executive Bob Keiller outlined his plans for a more “joined up” company yesterday as he reported a 35 per cent jump in profits in his first annual results at the helm of the energy services giant.

The Aberdeen-based firm made $461 million (£304m) before tax and other deductions last year, on revenues which were 20 per cent higher at $6.8 billion.

The figures include the first full year of contributions from Wood’s production services arm PSN, which brought Keiller to the company fold when in was acquired in 2011. On an underlying basis, profits grew by 23 per cent as the firm benefitted from growing worldwide investment in oil exploration and production.

Keiller, who took charge in November in the management shake up that marked the retirement of long-standing chairman Sir Ian Wood, said he wanted the group’s three divisions to work more closely together to improve cross-selling of contracts.

“Wood Group is a great company and I believe we can be even better if we harness our collective strengths more effectively and operate in a more joined-up manner,” he said.

Keiller has ensured that the firm’s three relatively independent business divisions are fully represented in the top team and has instigated regular communications between staff at the different arms. He said the benefits of his initial drive for cohesion were already reflected in this year’s expectations, and beyond should have “a material impact” in 2014 and beyond.

“If you take Wood Group Kenny, there’s a clear opportunity to grow the integrity management part of that business and I think a lot of that will come from providing support to customers that already work with PSN,” he said.

Analyst Sanjeev Bahl, at Numis, upgraded the firm to “add”, saying the announcement should help re-assure investors that Wood Group can continue to grow margins with a business model that is more robust than many of its peers.

The group is offering a final dividend of 11.3 cents, bringing the full year payout to 17 cents, up 26 per cent on 2011.