Monday 18 December 2017

Kentz profits leap 32pc to $104m

Kentz engineers working on a project in the Middle East. Chief executive Christian Brown said the future outlook is bright
Kentz engineers working on a project in the Middle East. Chief executive Christian Brown said the future outlook is bright
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

PRETAX profits at Clonmel-based Kentz jumped 32pc last year to $104.8m (€81.1m) as the firm saw strong demand from abroad for its services.

Kentz main business is providing engineering services to the oil, gas and mining sectors.

Revenue in 2012, including from joint ventures, rose 6pc to $1.56bn (€1.2bn), according to accounts just filed.

The company hit the headlines last month after the death of Irish quantity surveyor William Deasy, murdered after he left work at a mine in Mozambique.

The tragedy highlighted the global reach of the Tipperary business.

In its latest accounts Kentz said the backlog of work it has on its books climbed 6pc to $2.73bn (€2.1bn) at the end of February compared to the end of December.

Chief executive Christian Brown said the future outlook for the firm continued to be positive.

"Conditions in the markets in which Kentz operates remain strong with continued spending in our core market of oil and gas being driven by long-term supply-side challenges," added chairman Tan Sri Mohd Razali Abdul Rahman. "We see continued demand for our services and many potential opportunities as evidenced by our growing backlog and pipeline of prospects."

Kentz is involved in projects around the world, including Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Its clients include the world's leading oil and gas majors such as BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobil. It has also worked on Irish firm Kenmare Resource's ilmenite mine in Mozambique.

Mr Brown said Kentz is eyeing further opportunities in Colombia.

"I'd watch the Colombian environment," he told analysts.

"We've seen more opportunities in Colombia." The South American country has boosted its oil output by 80pc since 2008.

Africa was the biggest revenue spinner for Kentz last year, even though the turnover generated there in 2012, at $443.9m, was 22pc lower than in 2011.

The Middle East is the next biggest area for Kentz.

It generated $425m of its turnover there in 2012, 1pc more than in 2011.

Among the projects it is working on in Africa is a $45m contract for Scatec Solar for its new solar farm in the country.

However, its performance in the mining sector in Africa wasn't as strong last year as in 2011, when the segment was boosted by activities in southern Africa.

Irish Independent

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