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Wed City brief: Barratt profits soar, Petrofac alliance

New concerns about Greece prompted investors to step back from all-time highs achieved on Tuesday. The FTSE100 ended the day down 0.2% at 6,935.38 after hitting a new record close of 6,949.63 in the previous session.

Shares in engineering company Weir fell 9% after the company warned that the sharp decline in the price of oil will have a “significant reduction” in constant currency revenues this year.

BARRATT: Revenues rose 24.6% to  £1.58 billion in the six months to end-December and  profit before tax surging  74.6% to £210.2 million. The interim dividend has been lifted 50%  to 4.8p a share, with the board expecting to return a total of 97p per share over the three years to November 2017.

PETROFAC: A five-year alliance has been agreed between the oil and gas facilities service provider and offshore engineering, procurement, construction and installation company McDermott International. They will pursue opportunities in the deepwater subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) sector in the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, West Africa, Brazil, Mediterranean and North Sea.

Petrofac has reported Ebitda for the year down from $1.03 billion to $935m on revenue down from $6.3bn to $6.2bn. The recommended final dividend is unchanged at 43.8 cents making 65.8 cents for the year. The company has a backlog of 26% to a record year end level of $18.9bn.

Ayman Asfari, chief executive, said“Having taken robust action to address the challenges we have faced on the Ticleni, Greater Stella Area and Laggan-Tormore projects, Petrofac enters 2015 in a much stronger position.”

WIZZ AIR: The airline, focused on the central European marke,t has priced its shares at £11.50, valuing the company at £601 million and raising £103m. Shareholder proceeds amount to £154m.

NEWCASTLE BUILDING SOCIETY: More than £1 million has now been donated to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, says the society. Profit before tax is up from £1.3m to £4m for the year. Capital tier one ratio is 12.7%.

SKIPTON BUILDING SOCIETY: Britain’s fourth largest BS saw its mortgage book grow further by  £1.3bn or 11% to £12.7bn helping pre-tax profit leap 75% from £103.6m to £181.6m. Group tier one ratio is 16.2%.

David Cutter, group chief executive, said: “It remains a difficult environment for savers, with Bank base rate held at 0.5% for six years, but it is pleasing to report growth of more than 11% in both savings and mortgage balances, well in excess of market growth, demonstrating a balanced performance and our competitive pricing.”

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