Technip posts Q4 sales up 8 pct, raises dividend

PARIS Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:56am EST

PARIS Feb 19 (Reuters) - French oil services group Technip reported on Thursday an 8 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue to 2.484 billion euros ($3.42 billion) and raised its 2013 dividend by 10 percent while confirming previously lowered targets.

The group posted an operating margin of 8.3 percent in the three months to end-December, 2.1 percentage points below than the margin at the same period a year ago.

Technip, which supplies pipes, platforms and equipment to energy producers, last October cut its full-year sales and margin targets for its subsea business, hit by a fall in currencies including the Brazilian real against the euro.

The group then warned in December that it expected lower operating margins at the unit in 2014, saying it expected at least 12 percent, down from around 14 percent in 2013, before picking up in 2015.

Shares in Technip have fallen almost 8 percent since Jan. 1, following a 19-percent decline in 2013, on fears its oil and gas majors clients were set to cut their exploration spending after years of large investment spurred by high oil prices.

French oil major Total confirmed earlier this month it would start a "soft landing" in capital expenditure in 2014.

"Looking forward, our clients' capex continues to increase globally, even if at a more moderate rate than in the past decade," Technip Chief Executive Thierry Pilenko said in a statement. ($1 = 0.7271 euros) (Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Andrew Callus)