Lamprell soars as crucial debt waiver agreed

SHARES in rig maker Lamprell jumped more than 20 per cent in trading yesterday, as the beleaguered engineering firm agreed waivers to its banking covenants.

The London-listed company, which issued five profit warnings last year, was due to have its debt facilities tested on 31 December.

Lamprell said yesterday that it had finished the year with net cash of $100m (£61.3m), thanks to higher levels of revenue and tighter financial controls. Additionally, it said it is moving forward with a wider re-financing of the business.

In November, the rig maker warned that its full-year losses would increase significantly, raising its loss guidance to $105m from between $12 and $17m as a result of delays to projects.

Lamprell shares lost almost two-thirds of their value last year, eventually prompting the departure of its chief executive and two senior managers in October.

“This year has been a difficult year for the company but these positive developments are a clear indication that the business remains robust and is rapidly returning to normal operations,” chairman John Kennedy said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Lamprell added that it had made progress on its Caspian Sea project, and had launched a rig into the water. The company previously said in November that the project would result in a shortfall of $24.6m due to low labour productivity and restricted availability of equipment at a third-party facility.

Shares closed up 21.02 per cent yesterday at 113.25p.