Technip second-quarter net rises 1.3 percent, keeps outlook

PARIS Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:37am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) - French oil services group Technip (TECF.PA) posted a 1.3 percent rise in second-quarter net profit on Thursday and kept its outlook for the year as it saw no impact yet from the lower oil price and Europe's economic troubles on its business.

Net income reached 134.2 million euros ($162.7 million), bolstered mainly by Technip's fast-growing and high margin subsea business, while sales rose 23.3 percent to 2.052 billion.

Technip's order backlog hit another record in the second quarter, at 12.724 billion euros, after taking in orders worth 2.5 billion. The operating margin narrowed to 9.9 percent from 10.6 percent in the same period a year ago.

"We continue to see strong bidding activity in nearly all our markets, with no impact as yet from either the lower market price of oil or economic issues affecting Europe," Chairman and Chief Executive Thierry Pilenko said in a statement.

"Our customers remain focused on solving technology and resource challenges to meet their production objectives."

The builder of oil rigs and refineries expanded its subsea unit when it bought U.S.-based Global Industries last year and broadened its downstream technology and engineering offering with the purchase of Stone & Webster in May, hoping to benefit from the shale gas boom which has driven petrochemical investments.

Oil companies, helped by oil prices at roughly above $100 a barrel, have bolstered exploration spending, venturing into areas like the Arctic or heading to very deep sea levels in regions like West Africa requiring new techniques to get access to oil.

Technip still expects group revenue to rise to between 7.65 billion and 8 billion euros this year. Subsea revenue should grow to between 3.35 billion and 3.50 billion euros, with the operating margin around 15 percent while revenue from its onshore/offshore activities should reach 4.3 billion to 4.5 billion with an operating margin of 6 to 7 percent.

($1 = 0.8248 euros)

(Reporting by Caroline Jacobs; Editing by James Regan)