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NEWS | IN BRIEF

Petrofac boosted by order rush
Oil services group Petrofac yesterday said a rush of contract wins would boost its full-year profits by 25 per cent from last year. The group said it had had a surge of orders for work worth $6bn (£3.7bn) over the year. Petrofac, which designs and makes oil and gas infrastructure, now says post-tax profits will hit at least £300m.

GKN note boosts recovery hope
Aerospace parts maker GKN said yesterday its full-year profit would likely beat market expectations as demand continued to improve, boosting hopes of a recovery in the aerospace supply sector. “Profit before tax for 2009 is expected to be in the range £70-80m,” the company said in a fourth quarter trading statement. It added that overall demand in its major markets had been better than anticipated since October.

Xchanging takes its own advice
Offshoring specialist Xchanging has applied its expertise to its own business and will switch 480 positions from Europe to India over the next two years.
Some 250 roles will be removed in 2009 and a further 230 positions will be offshored in 2010. The positions affected are currently based in Germany and the UK. The move will lead to a reduction in annual costs of £14m in 2010 with an anticipated full year run-rate benefit of £17m per annum from 2011 onwards, Xchanging said.

Laird sees full-year profits in line
Shares in Laird rose eight per cent yesterday, after the company, which makes eletromagnetic shielding devices for items such as laptops and mobile phones, said its full-year adjusted pretax profit will be in line with the market view. The company, which recently announced a one-for-two rights issue, also says it will benefit from a reduction in overheads.