Oilfield services firm Petrofac's debt shoots up 50 per cent

Jessica Morris
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Petrofac helps oil explorers look for and build wells (Source: Getty)

Oilfield services firm Petrofac said it expects full-year profit to be in line with expectations despite its debt pile swelling 50 per cent.

The FTSE 250 group said net debt is likely to increase to around $1.1bn (£750m) at 30 June, due to a final dividend payment and project spending. Nevertheless, the firm believes it's still on track to deliver net profits of $445m this year.

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Its shares closed up 0.58 per cent to 752.56p per share today, having fallen as much as 1.66 per cent earlier.

Petrofac has issued a string of profit warnings recently due to the oil price rout, which has crimped many of its customers' budgets, prompting them to cut back on the exploration and drilling of new wells.

The group's order backlog was $18.9bn at the end of last month, down slightly from $20.7bn in December.

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Ayman Asfari, Petrofac's chief executive, said: “Our backlog gives us excellent revenue visibility for this year and beyond, and we are very active bidding on a strong pipeline of new opportunities as our clients continue to invest in core markets.”

It said there had been a lower level of project awards during the first half of this year, however it expects continued investment from clients in core markets such as the Middle East and North Africa.