Gulf of Mexico drilling activity drives Hunting's first-half profit

Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:06am EDT

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Aug 28 (Reuters) - Energy services firm Hunting Plc shrugged off a poor start to the year and posted a 2.6 percent increase in first-half pretax profit, helped by strong demand in the Gulf of Mexico.

Underlying pretax profit rose to $93.9 million for the six months ended June 30, from $91.5 million a year earlier.

Hunting, which provides equipment and services to help extract oil and gas, said revenue rose 4.8 percent to $687.5 million.

Hunting had warned on first quarter performance being hurt by bad weather and project delays in April, but had said it was comfortable with its outlook for the year.

Hunting, which began as a ship-owning firm started by Charles Hunting in 1874, raised its interim dividend by 5.2 percent to 8.1 cents. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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