Norwegian oil and gas engineering and construction group Aker Solutions said yesterday that rising costs and rig delays hit its third-quarter profits.
The news sent its shares nearly 20% lower in Oslo despite its positive outlook for oilfield services, as operating profits and net earnings both missed analyst consensus forecasts.
Aker Solutions tried to reassure investors that a rise in its order backlog looked good for future business, and it said that in the fourth quarter it expected revenues to rise again.
It added: “We continue to believe that market activity levels will remain positive.
“Recent turbulence in the financial markets and drop in the price of oil create some uncertainties. These may postpone the decision-making processes of some clients on projects going forward.”
The group also said formation of a new business area had been a key move in terms of enhancing its competitiveness in the North Sea and beyond.
A restructuring exercise earlier this year brought together all of Aker Solutions’ modifications, maintenance, operations and field-development work into one global business stream.
Aberdeen-based managing director Rod Buchan said: “The new operational model became effective from September 1 and we are already seeing its benefits, helping to ensure our resources, people and technology are being used to their optimum potential for the benefit of our North Sea customers.”
Aker Solutions took its numbers employed from Aberdeen to about 2,500 with the near-£100million acquisition in July of fast-growing Portlethen-based oil service firm Qserv, with more than 350 employees worldwide.
It said then that the renamed Aker Qserv had a target of doubling its turnover to £100million and workforce to 700 by the end of this decade.
Aker Solutions posted third-quarter revenue of £1.18billion compared with £1.25billion a year earlier.
It said the decrease was a result of the completion and phasing of projects.
The group also reported net profits of £43.34million yesterday for the period, down from £56.22million the year before.
Order intake in the third quarter was £1.38billion, representing both new contracts and growth in existing contracts. At the end of the third quarter, order backlog was £5.1billion, an increase of £420million from the previous quarter.