Record Profits at Weir Group


LONDON -- Weir Group -- a global engineering firm supplying the mining, oil and gas, and power markets -- is currently up 1.5%, on publication of its full-year results for 2012 this morning.

Revenue was up 11% at £2,538 million, and an 18% surge to £486 million of operating profit, combined with a best ever operating margin of just over 19%, helped pre-tax profit hit a record level of £443 million, up 12% on 2011.

The strong results were underpinned by a good performance by Weir's minerals division, with the power and industrial division continuing strongly, in the face of a relatively subdued global power sector. And despite a downturn in the North American pressure pumping market, the company's oil & gas division proved resilient.

Earnings per share were up 12%, to 150.1 pence, and the company raised the full-year dividend by 15%, to 38 pence per share. It's Weir's seventh year in a row of double-digit dividend growth, a trend the company intends to continue.

Commenting on the results, Weir's chief executive Keith Cochrane said:

Weir delivered a strong performance for shareholders in 2012 despite challenging pressure pumping markets. We responded rapidly to changing market conditions, realigned capacity, reduced costs in affected areas and continued to maximize operational and cost efficiencies. This allowed us to deliver 2012 results in line with our mid-year expectations. We continued to invest in the Group's capabilities, underpinning our strategy to grow ahead of our end markets.

Looking ahead into 2013, despite more challenging markets, the Group will continue to deliver profitable growth through new product introductions and a range of operational initiatives. Assuming a gradual economic and end market improvement, we expect to deliver low single digit revenue growth and broadly stable margins in 2013 with lower first half profits offset by growth in the second half. Alongside substantially higher cash generation, the Group plans the eighth consecutive year of double digit dividend growth.

Weir is now up 55% on its low point of 2012, and almost 10% for the year to date.

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