Business Irish

Sunday 17 December 2017

Kentz shares up 4pc after strong growth in Australia

Peter Flanagan

SHARES in Kentz Engineering jumped 4pc yesterday after the company reported strong results for the first half of the year.

The Clonmel-based company, which specialises in the oil and gas sector, said that profit before tax for the first half of 2010 jumped by 36pc to $25.2m (€19.6m) on the back of strong growth in Australasia and rising energy demand globally.

Revenue rose 32.1pc to $434.3m while the backlog (outstanding orders) increased to just over $1.6bn, compared to less that $1.5bn at the end of last year. Basic earnings per share (EPS) were 14.95c. The company said they would pay an interim dividend of 3c.

Australasia was the main driver of the increase in revenue, contributing 22pc overall. The company has won an AUS$150m (€110m) telecommunications contract in addition to a shared gas contract in Western Australia.

That growth in Australia has led to the company recruiting electricians and instrument technicians in Ireland to work in Australia.

Company chief executive Hugh O'Donnell was pleased with the results.

"We've had a good year and have been able to grow our market at a difficult time for the world economy," he said.

"Demand for energy around the world has never really gone away, so we have focused on working hard and growing the business. The growth in the backlog has been a testament to that and we are on target in terms of outstanding business by the end of the year," he added.

"We have around $3.6bn worth of future prospects in the pipeline and that is up nearly $700m on six months ago. The outlook remains positive for projects in the onshore oil and gas sector."

Mr O'Donnell added that the company was looking to expand in Alaska, Canada and Papua New Guinea. With some $200m cash in hand, he did not rule out future acquisitions.

Separately, the company said it had won a $36m contract with Qatar Petroleum at its Halul Island facility in Qatar.

The contract is for the creation and implementation of integrated security and telecom systems. The contract is due to be completed in August 2012.

Irish Independent

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