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Drilling firm Archer posts first-half profit despite Covid hit

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Archer news

Drilling services firm Archer made pre-tax profits of £2.3 million in the first half of 2020 despite being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and low oil price.

Chief executive Dag Skindlo described the firm’s operational performance as “solid” and said financial performance had been “better than expected”.

Though still in the black, reduced activity did mean Archer’s pre-tax profits were lower than in the corresponding period of 2019, when it had a surplus of £2.5m.

First-half ebitda dropped 16% year-on-year to £31m at Archer, which made 240 employees redundant and put a further 500 employees on “temporary layoff or reduced rotation/compensation”.

Revenues totalled £330m, down 6.7%, as Archer’s land drilling operations in Argentina bore the brunt of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mr Skindlo said on-going North Sea operations were a source of strength for the company, which is headquartered in Sandnes, Norway, and has an office in Blackburn, near Aberdeen.

However, reduced activity in the UK North Sea, where clients Ithaca Energy, Repsol Sinopec and Apache all reduced offshore manning and scaled back drilling work, led to scores of job losses.

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