UPDATE 1-Prosafe shares rise after results top forecasts

Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:49am EST

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* Pretax profit $60 mln vs $47.3 mln forecast

* To pay dividend of one crown/shr vs 0.82

* Orders backlog at record $1.7 bln at end of 2013

* Shares up 4.8 pct (Adds detail)

OSLO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Offshore accommodation provider Prosafe reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations on Monday, lifting gloom over weak conditions in the offshore oil industry and sending its shares higher.

A slew of suppliers to the sector, from seismic surveyors to engineering firms and rig operators, have warned in recent months that oil companies have been reigning capital spending to protect dividends and margins.

But Prosafe, which owns 11 vessels where offshore workers can live while working at sea, posted fourth-quarter earnings ahead of expectations, sending its shares up nearly 5 percent, outperforming a flat Oslo bourse index.

The stock had fallen earlier this month to its lowest since June 2012.

Pretax profit rose to $60.1 million from $40.6 million at the same time a year ago, ahead of analysts' forecast for $47.3 million.

Profits rose on the back of a record orders backlog of $1.7 billion at the end of 2013, the firm said. "(It is) by the far the highest level ever seen in Prosafe's history," it said.

However the company also warned that the pace of new developments of offshore oil and gas fields for 2017-2019 could be lower than in the period 2014-206.

"There are ... fewer tenders taking place than at the same point in time last year and it is likely that the contract inflow in 2014 will be lower than the record level experienced in 2013," it said in a statement.

The firm also said it would pay a dividend of one crown per share, up from 0.82 crowns at the same time last year. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Terje Solsvik and David Holmes)

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