Kentz shares touch all-time high on strong growth forecast
SHARES in Kentz soared close to an all-time high as it revealed it expects double-digit growth for 2013.
The Tipperary-based engineering firm saw its price jump to £6.96 (€8.45) per share at one point yesterday morning.
Shares ended the session down 2.81pc at £6.58 each, valuing the business at £777.8m (€945m).
Kentz had earlier said it was starting 2014 "in a very strong position" with a pre-close trading update revealing growing orders and a strong cash balance.
Kentz, which recently paid $435m for US gas services company Valerus Field Solutions, said earnings per share were in line with expectation.
Its trading update revealed the gross cash balance at the end of December was approximately $245m (€179m).
A backlog of $3.1bn was recorded, up 19pc from December 2012, and it expects to add $400m to that from the Valerus takeover. Elsewhere, order intakes were up 29pc to $2.2bn and the pipeline was $15.6bn.
Christian Brown, Kentz chief executive, said he was starting the year in a very strong position.
"2013 has been a very busy year for bidding activity, with record levels of bidding undertaken adding to the strong growth in our order intake and year-end backlog," he said.
"Additionally, there are a number of bids outstanding that will be awarded in the first half of 2014."
Kentz, which started off as a Tipperary electrical contractor, completed the acquisition of Valerus on January 3.
"The board of Kentz is confident that this addition to the group will be earnings enhancing and together with our existing business will continue to create future value for our shareholders," Mr Brown added.
It will publish the results for 2013 on March 24.