Petrofac beats forecasts thanks to its contract with Malaysian state oil firm

City A.M. Reporter
OIL services firm Petrofac posted a forecast-beating first-half profit, boosted by its business in Malaysia, and said it was confident demand from national oil firms would continue to fuel future growth.

Petrofac, which designs and builds oil and gas infrastructure and also invests alongside oil firms in oil fields, yesterday posted net profit of $246.3m (£149m) for the first six months of the year, a 6.6 per cent rise on the previous year.

This compared to a consensus forecast of $238m from a company-supplied poll of eight analysts.

Profits in the FTSE 100 company’s offshore engineering and operations business soared by over 700 per cent, reflecting strong activity levels in Malaysia, where it has a contract to develop oil and gas facilities for the country’s state oil firm Petronas.

The company said it was on track to double its 2010 earnings by 2015, a goal it announced in June, as it believed a recent contract win in Mexico validated its strategy of building up the part of its business that invests in oil fields to help national oil companies develop their reserves.

“We are increasingly seeing resource holders who don’t want to give up the title to reserves but do need expertise to help improve or develop their resources,” chief financial officer Keith Roberts said.

Petrofac shares closed up 3.9 per cent yesterday.