UPDATE 1-Oil rig maker Lamprell warns on profit again

Wed Oct 3, 2012 2:56am EDT

LONDON Oct 3 (Reuters) - Oil rig maker Lamprell issued its fourth profit warning since the spring, prompting its new chairman to say that changes to senior management were necessary.

United Arab Emirates-based Lamprell has had repeated problems with a contract to deliver two windfarm vessels, which has incurred spiralling costs, and said on Wednesday that it had to defer revenues from a separate construction project.

The company said it was appointing external advisors to assess the extent of the financial impact, but that its own internal calculations indicated that its loss for the year would be significantly greater than it previously expected.

In August, Lamprell had guided for a full year loss of between $12 million and $17 million, after a torrid first-half where it repeatedly warned on its results.

"I am extremely disappointed in the need to make this latest trading update and feel that a refreshed management team will bring a more focused sense of delivery to all our stakeholders," said Chairman John Kennedy, who was brought in to help lead a turnaround in June.

It remained confident on cash flow and lending talks with its banks continued, the company said.

Lamprell, which began 2012 in the FTSE350, has seen its share price plunge around 70 percent since the first warning in May. Shares closed at 110 pence on Tuesday, valuing the company at around 286 million pounds ($462 million).

Broker Oriel was stoic, saying the news was a setback but not really a surprise.

"The delivery of these (windfarm) vessels, together with the change of management, could be a potential turning point for the company," the analysts said.

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