Profits plunge at John Wood

British energy services company John Wood Group said yesterday that full-year pretax profit fell 31 per cent in 2009 as oil explorers cut spending, offsetting the company’s confidence on its long-term growth. Pre-tax profits fell to $264.8m (£177.2m) from $384.1m in 2008, the company said after global exploration and production spending fell 15 per cent last year and it took an exceptional charge of $35.8m relating to a reduction in its activities in Venezuela.