Amec Foster Wheeler share price jumps on plan to weather oil price rout

Jessica Morris
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(FILES) File Photo taken in the North Se
Amec's customers have been squeezed by low oil prices (Source: Getty)

Shares in Amec Foster Wheeler jumped this morning after it announced the sale of one of its units and plans to halve net debt in the next 15 months, despite Britain's largest oil and gas engineering group swinging to a loss in 2015.

The figures:

Amec made a pre-tax loss of £235m in the 12 months ended 31 December, from a profit of £155m in 2014.

The company plans to shrink net debt by 50 per cent in the next 15 months through the disposal of non-core assets.

This will start with the sale of its GPG unit, and it said advisors have been appointed.

Amec shares rose 8.8 per cent to 510p per share

Why it's interesting:

Amec has suffered as tumbling global oil prices have forced its customer to rein in spending and spend less on its services.

This has already prompted it to halve its dividend and forecast lower earnings for the second half of 2015.

Today it said last year's trading performance was largely in line with the company's November update, however it expects the though market conditions to continue for the foreseeable future.

As such, it will continue to cut costs, and sell-off non-core assets to reduce its debt pile to £1bn by the end of this year.

What Amec said:

"2016 is expected to be another year of challenging market conditions across upstream oil & gas and mining," Amec's chief financial officer and interim chief executive, Ian McHoul, said.

"However, our exposure to a number of end markets, including downstream oil & gas, renewables and government work means we expect to see only a slight fall in like-for-like revenue, and a reduction in trading margins significantly less than the decline in 2015"

In short:

Investors have given Amec's plans to sell asset sales and shrink its net debt to weather the oil price rout the thumbs up.

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