Hunting helped by more drilling in the States and the North Sea

 
City A.M. Reporter
ENERGY services firm Hunting said increased drilling in onshore United States and the Gulf of Mexico would drive a second-half recovery after poor weather earlier in the year curbed operations in Canada and dented margins.

Hunting, which provides equipment and services for drilling and completing oil wells, posted core first-half profit (Ebitda) down 2.7 per cent at £75.6m.

“Canada was a mess with flooding and freezing conditions, so that put a halt to any rig movement at all,” finance director Peter Rose said yesterday.

Hunting shares closed 4.2 per cent lower but analysts described the results as encouraging.

“The good news is that activity has picked up as the year has progressed, such that we expect to see a much stronger second half than first half,” analysts at Barclays said in a note.

Hunting said that increased drilling in onshore United States and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a pick-up in the North Sea, should ensure it hits revenue and profit consensus for the year.

First-half revenue of £424.4m was up four per cent compared with the same period last year and ahead of analyst expectations of £399.4m.