Kentz Sees Profits Rise by 36%


LONDON -- Kentz (ISE: KENZ.L) , the engineering and construction specialist that focuses on the resources sector, has produced another solid set of results. Sales were up 9% and profits increased by 36% for the first six months of 2012.

The profit increase was helped along by the close-out of certain contracts. Kentz reckons this accounted for 1 percentage point of the overall increase in profit margin from 5.9% to 7.3%.

Net cash rose strongly, too, increasing by 36% to $241 million. This encouraged Kentz to raise its interim dividend by 10% to $0.055. Shareholders appeared pleased with the news, with the shares rising 2% to 389 pence.

The period also saw a change at the top as Hugh O'Donnell, who had led the group since 2000, handed over the reins to Christian Brown. O'Donnell oversaw rapid expansion at the group, which led to Kentz joining AIM in 2008 at a price of 115 pence before making the (relatively rare) step up to the main London market in 2011. It's currently a member of the FTSE 250 index and valued at 450 million pounds.

Commenting on the latest results, CEO Christian Brown said:

I am confident of the future prospects for Kentz and the Group's ability to continue its successful growth story. We have positioned ourselves to be a preferred service provider for many of the world's largest energy and resource companies. One of the elements of Kentz's strategy is to build a sustainable business in the various locations and sectors in which we operate and with the clients we work with. This has served us very well in the past and it is a strategy in which I am sure will help deliver future success.

We have made a positive start to our business plan for 2013. Our pipeline of prospects continues to be robust and we are actively bidding on some exciting opportunities. We remain confident that we can deliver double digit earnings growth.

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