A particularly strong performance from the engineering and construction business meant the results beat market expectations, which ranged from $273m to $346m.
Goldman Sachs said: “net profit was five per cent ahead of the level indicated at the company’s trading statement in December”. While JP Morgan Cazenove added the results represented “one of the most positive outlook statements in the sector with respect to 2010”.
In 2009 Petrofac built up a backlog of orders worth $6.2bn in its engineering and construction business as a result of strong demand from national oil companies, such as Algeria’s Sonatrach and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco.
Keith Roberts, Petrofac Chief Financial Officer, said: “Last year what we saw was the national oil companies powering ahead with their capital commitments whereas a number of international oil companies reined back a little bit.”
Petrofac has come together with Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum to spin off their UK North Sea oil assets in a venture to be floated on the London Stock Exchange. It will list under the name EnQuest.