Kentz in profit surge as demand for oil and gas equipment rises
KENTZ, a Clonmel-based engineering company which supplies equipment to some of the world's largest mining projects, said profit rose as demand for projects in countries such as Iraq, Oman and Syria increased.
Kentz said pre-tax profit rose by 9.2pc to $44.5m in 2009 as sales surged 9.5pc to $704.7m. Earnings per share jumped 5.5pc to 26.4c while the company's cash balance jumped 16.7pc to $180.3m. The company's orders' backlog at the end of 2009 increased by 49.2pc to $1.5bn. The company, which is listed in London, said its strategy of focusing on oil and gas projects in developing regions has been highly successful and helped it to expand despite the slumping world economy.
Kentz said it had seen a significant increase in its metals and mining business in southern Africa and Australia.
"Projects in remote global locations are those where Kentz's experience can add real value to clients," chief executive Hugh O'Donnell said yesterday.
The engineering company, whose customers include Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, said current projects will keep it busy for more than two years.
"Our current backlog is at $1.5bn, and for that we've got visibility of about two-and-a- half years," Mr O'Donnell said.
Mr O'Donnell said the company may use part of its $180m cash balance to buy companies as Kentz expands in the Middle East and develops technology for oil and gas extraction. Energy producers are stepping up investments after the price of oil gained more than 50pc in the past year.
Kentz's biggest projects include liquefied natural gas development in Australia, the Sakhalin fields in Russia and engineering contracts in Yemen and Qatar.