UPDATE 1-Wood Group earnings rise as oil & gas firms spend more

Tue Mar 5, 2013 2:40am EST

* FY EBITA $461 mln stg vs $342 mln yr ago

* Sees growth in all divisions in 2013

* Oman 2012 loss $20 mln, at top end of guidance

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - British energy services company John Wood Group posted a 35 percent jump in profits on Tuesday thanks to an increase in spending from oil and gas companies, which it said is set to continue this year.

Wood Group, which designs, builds and maintains oil and gas facilities and pipelines, said earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) for continuing operations was $461.1 million in 2012, in line with expectations.

"We anticipate good progress in all divisions in 2013," said the company's chief executive Bob Keiller in a statement.

The group's engineering division is expected to deliver EBITA growth of around 15 percent in 2013, it said, thanks to prospects in a number of key regions including the Gulf of Mexico, the Middle East, Norway and Asia Pacific.

Last week, peer Petrofac posted a 17 percent rise in net profit to $632 million, narrowly missing forecasts.

John Wood said it expects improvement on a difficult Oman project, where delays have ratcheted up losses and weighed on its shares. It confirmed that losses in Oman were $20 million in 2012, at the top end of a previous guidance range.

The company hiked its full-year dividend 26 percent to 17 cents.

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