Engineers Wood Group this morning said it would not pay a final dividend after falling to a £228m loss in 2020.
The FTSE 250 firm, which provides services for the oil industry, was battered by the collapse in oil prices last spring.
As a result, it swung from a profit of £73m in 2019 to a hefty loss in the last financial year.
Revenue slumped 24 per cent to £7.6bn while operating profit before exceptional items almost halved to £214m.
Wood also had to set aside $196.7m to settle a number of bribery cases in the UK, US and Brazil.
The firm was been subject to a probe by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over the links between Amec Foster Wheeler, which it bought in 2017, and Unaoil.
Wood had initially thought it could settle the cases for $46m. It will pay $70m in 2021, with the balance payable in instalments in 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Despite the loss, Stuart Lamont, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said that the firm ahd shown a great deal of resilience over the last year.
“Wood has been a story of debt reduction for some time now and the business managed to cut leverage by more than $400m to take it very close to the milestone $1bn mark – no mean feat considering the events of last year.
“Although the oil price has made a recovery, the diversification of Wood into renewables and the built environment has also helped offset volatility. There are still significant challenges ahead, but, with a plan for growth, Wood is in a decent position as the economy and its markets move towards recovery.”
Shares in the firm dropped 2.4 per cent this morning.