Amec is upbeat on future as customers spend more

OIL services and engineering group Amec posted a 20 per cent rise in first-half profits yesterday and said it saw customer spending returning in most of its key markets.

Amec’s first-half earnings before interest, tax and amortisation rose to £113.5m from £94.5m in the same period last year.

Its order book grew eight per cent to £3.5bn, it said, adding that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would have no impact as it has a small exposure to the region.

“We see a story of gradual improvement to our pipeline,” said chief financial officer Ian McHoul.

Amec – whose customers operate in the mining, oil and oil sands, nuclear power and renewable energy sectors – said in March that 2010 would be challenging, but saw a return in the first half after winning contracts with BP in Azerbaijan and the US Navy.

Amec’s full-year earnings before interest and tax are forecasted at £228m. Amec’s shares yesterday closed 5.1 per cent up at 891.5p.