Kentz on the acquisition trail after 50pc profit rise

OIL engineer Kentz yesterday said it will spend up to $50m (£31.2m) on further acquisitions this year, after posting a better-than-expected 50 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profit to $67.5m.

AIM-listed Kentz, which bought RNE Engineering and Projects earlier this year, said its pipeline of prospects already stands at more than $8bn – up 30 per cent on a year ago.

Kentz said new liquefied natural gas projects could also bring in new business. The firm’s current clients include Chevron, Shell and Exxon.

The firm experienced a slump in Middle Eastern construction last year, but expects turnover in the region to remain stable this year. Kentz gets about 42 per cent of its revenue from the Middle East, but said there had been no material impact on any of its projects due to the political unrest.