Buoyant oil and gas market sees Kentz profits jump 32pc

ENGINEER Kentz yesterday posted a 32 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profit as it was flattered by increased oil and gas demand.

The FTSE 250 company, which provides engineering, construction and technical support services to the oil and gas and mining industries, said pre-tax profit rose to $104.8m (£68.8m) over the year to December from $79.4m in 2011, on revenues six per cent higher at $1.56bn.

Aside from increased demand in Kentz’s core oil and gas markets, its Australian joint venture activities also performed well and contributed to a 19 per cent earnings increase.

Chief executive Christian Brown said that Kentz had enjoyed a positive start to the year, with the backlog increasing six per cent to $2.73bn at the end of February.

He added that 2013 would be another successful year, and the company was on target to hit double-digit earnings growth.

Kentz, which earlier this month won a contract in Canada for an oil sands project, said it had a number of contracts it was bidding for and was “confident of being awarded in the near future”.

On the back of strong results, Kentz hiked its full-year dividend 18 per cent to 14.5 cents a share.

Shares closed up 2.24 per cent at 424p yesterday, as investors were cheered by the results.