The boss of international oil and gas facility-service provider Petrofac said yesterday it was well positioned to take advantage of opportunities.
The comment from chief executive Ayman Asfari came as the company issued a positive trading update.
Chief financial officer Keith Roberts later told the Press and Journal that Petrofac was relatively well positioned for opportunities that may arise in the current difficult markets, but was not flagging up mergers and acquisitions specifically. He added, however: “There are a lot of people quite interested in talking to us about us working with them; smaller independent oil and gas companies in particular.”
Mr Roberts said these firms were finding it more difficult to get their traditional means of funding at this time.
Petrofac said in the trading update that its good operational performance had continued in the second half of the year and the board anticipated that, in the absence of unforeseen circumstances, net profits for 2008 would be in line with market expectations. The average of analyst forecasts is about £168.5million.
Mr Asfari said: “We are very pleased with the performance of the group over the year which has delivered record revenue and profits.
“While we recognise that there will be some pressure on discretionary spending by some of our customers, our backlog gives us good revenue visibility.
“Furthermore, our engineering and construction division’s focus on onshore developments in the Middle East and north Africa and our effective cost structure gives us a strong competitive position. This, together with the strength of our bidding pipeline, gives us confidence in the outlook for 2009 and beyond.
“The group has a strong balance sheet and we are well positioned to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise from current market conditions.”
In the energy-development division, significant progress was said to have been made during the year in preparing the West Don and Don Southwest fields in the UK North Sea, where first oil is expected in the first half of next year.
Petrofac said the Northern Producer floating production facility was now on location and most of the subsea construction work had been completed.
It added: “The development of the Don facilities is on budget and on schedule and the drilling programme has commenced, with final completion operations under way on the first production well on West Don.”
Petrofac employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Aberdeen is one of four international centres and about half of the group’s staff work out of the Granite City centre.
Shares in the company closed last night up more than 3% at 341p.