Hunting up despite US weakness

Energy services firm Hunting posted a rise in full-year profit yesterday, despite weak demand in the US. The number of active offshore rigs in the US fell by 13 per cent, as the drilling focus shifts to onshore natural gas. Despite this weakness, Hunting pledged a 23 per cent increase in the final dividend to a total of 18.5p per share for the year. Pre-tax profit rose to £80.7m over the year, on revenues 36 per cent higher at £825.8m.