(Adds CEO, analyst comments)
By Li-mei Hoang
LONDON, March 6 Aggreko, the world's
biggest provider of temporary power generators, will return 200
million pounds ($334 million) to shareholders on top of a 10
percent increase in its dividend for 2013.
The British firm, which is looking for a new chief
executive, also forecast trading profit this year to be similar
to 2013 after a year in which pretax profits fell 8 percent.
Shares in Aggreko leapt by 8 percent to 1,696 pence by 1121
GMT, making it the second highest riser in the FTSE 100
index after insurer Aviva.
"The outlook is better than we had feared with management
guiding to flat trading profit - which is about 7 to 8 percent
better than we had in," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Andrew
The company said profits were down in 2013 due to the impact
of lower revenues from military work in Afghanistan and
post-Fukushima reconstruction in Japan, as well as the absence
of revenues from the 2012 London Olympics, a contract worth 60
Pretax profit fell to 338 million pounds from 365 million,
slightly ahead of analyst forecasts of 333.76 million pounds,
according to Reuters data.
"2013 proved to be challenging year. However against a
number of headwinds, we were able to deliver a creditable
performance," Chief Financial Officer Angus Cockburn said.
"Overall the business has performed in line with our
expectations. For the full year we expect trading profits to be
similar to 2013 on a constant currency basis as growth in the
local business is offset by weaker trading in power projects,"
Despite lower profits net cash from operations rose in 2013
to 603 million pounds from 479 million in 2012. Aggreko proposed
an increase in its dividend to 26.30 pence per share for the
year and said it would also return 200 million pounds ($334.61
million) to shareholders in June, the equivalent of 75p each.
Last week, British outsourcer Serco named Aggreko
CEO Rupert Soames, who had increased the company's market
capitalisation by ten-fold, as its new chief executive to help
restore profits and its reputation following high-profile
government contract failures.
Soames, a grandson of former Prime Minister Winston
Churchill, will leave Aggreko after the Annual General Meeting
on April 24.
Chief Financial Officer Angus Cockburn will assume the role
on an interim basis while a search for a successor, internally
and externally, is conducted.
($1 = 0.5977 British pounds)
(Editing by Neil Maidment and Elaine Hardcastle)