Weir profits up on demand for oil

British engineering firm Weir yesterday said it expects 2011 pre-tax profit to be £20m higher than previously guided after strong demand for valves and pumps from oil and gas customers in the first-quarter. Weir said yesterday that orders in the first three months of the year rose 30 per cent on a like-for-like basis, giving it confidence for 2011. The company said orders from oil and gas customers in the first-quarter jumped 129 per cent, boosted by an increase in activity in drilling in rock shales in North America.