Improved market conditions and a major acquisition have boosted Australian energy service firm Worley’s half-year results.
Worley completed the £2.5 billion purchase of Jacobs Engineering Group’s energy, chemicals and resources (ECR) division in April 2019.
The addition of that business helped Worley notch pre-tax profits of £87.6 million in the six months to December 31, 2019, up 48% on the same period in 2018.
First-half revenues increased 161% to £3.5bn, while earnings before amortisation, interest and income tax expense rose 104% to £144m.
The company’s backlog increased to £9.5bn, from £9.2bn at June 30, 2019.
Chief executive Chris Ashton said: “Through this period of transition of our business, our focus has been and continues to be on delivering the benefits of the ECR acquisition.
“The integration of the ECR business is substantially complete and the remaining activities will be delivered as part of normal operations.
“We have increased our cost synergy target to £90m per annum, delivered over 30 months from completion.
“In line with the ECR investment case we are seeing more consistent earnings through increased exposure to operational expenditure and the chemical sector.
“This is occurring on a background of strengthened market conditions.”
Mr Ashton also said the energy transition would provide growth opportunities for Worley, which in October bought 3sun Group, a UK offshore wind energy installation, inspection and maintenance business, for £20m.
The acquired company has a base in Gourdon, Aberdeenshire.
Mr Ashton said: “We have a major role to advising and help our customers develop solutions to manage the impact of the energy transition and digitisation.
“Our investments in offshore wind and distributed networks further strengthen and support our ability to support our customers.
“Our business is well positioned to pursue the opportunities for growth that the energy transition provides.”
Worley made its entry to the UK North Sea when it bought Amec Foster Wheeler’s oil and gas business following the latter’s acquisition by energy service giant Wood in 2017.
Worley has about 2,500 employees in Aberdeen.