Profits jump at Weir Group

City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH pumps and valves maker Weir has posted a 24 per cent jump in first half pre-tax profit, helped by booming mining and oil industries, and predicted its full-year results would be better than previously hoped.

“We now expect profits for the full year to be somewhat ahead of our previous expectations,” Weir’s chief executive Keith Cochrane (pictured) said in a statement yesterday.

Glasgow-based Weir hiked its guidance for the year in May by £20m after strong demand for valves and pumps from oil and gas customers in the first quarter.

Weir, which supplies customers in the mining, oil and gas and power generation industries, posted underlying pre-tax profit of £178m in the first half, compared with £144m in the same period in 2010.

The group said buoyant market conditions in South America resulted in a number of significant orders for its minerals unit, which provides slurry handling equipment, and it expects similar output levels in the second half. Full-year margins and operating profit at its oil and gas unit are set to come better than previously expected, it added. The firm also unveiled plans to invest $75m (£46m) expanding the unit.

Weir, which has a plan to double 2009 profits by 2014, said it will pay an interim dividend of 7.2p a share, up 20 per cent.