Petrofac Limited Lifts Dividend by 17%


LONDON -- The shares of Petrofac slipped 37 pence lower to 1,560 pence during early London trade this morning after the market reacted somewhat unkindly to the group's 2012 figures.

Petrofac, which designs, builds and maintains wells, pipelines and refineries for the oil and gas industry, reported sales up 9% to $6.3 billion and net profits up 17% to $632 million.

The FTSE 100 member said progress was due mostly to its integrated energy services division, where profits advanced by $80 million. Contracts in Malaysia, Mexico, and Cameroon assisted the subsidiary's performance.

The figures also showed margins increasing a fraction to 12% and the firm's work backlog gaining 9% to $11.8bn.

The annual dividend was lifted 17% to $0.64 per share.

Ayman Asfari, Petrofac's chief executive, said: "We have delivered another year of strong financial results and good operational performance. Our portfolio of existing projects is in excellent shape, which we expect will help us to maintain our sector-leading onshore margins, and we see many new and attractive opportunities across our business."

Looking ahead, Mr Asfari said he expected Petrofac to deliver "good growth in net profit in 2013."

He also confirmed Petrofac was on course to more than double its recurring 2010 earnings by 2015. That could mean net profits of more than $862 million could be reported within three years, equating to a compound growth rate of 11% or more.

Based on this morning's £5.4 billion market cap, Petrofac's ambitions could mean the firm is valued at less than 10 times potential 2015 profits. On today's figures, the shares are valued at 13 times profits and offer a 2.7% trailing dividend income.

Of course, whether the current market cap, today's results, the ambitious earnings target and the general outlook for the oil and gas industry all combine to make Petrofac a buy remains your decision.

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