(Adds CEO comments, background, analyst note)
By Li-mei Hoang
LONDON Aug 5 Aggreko, the world's
biggest temporary power provider, said on Tuesday it expected
sterling strength to hit results for the rest of the financial
year after it posted a 9 percent fall in half-year pretax
Interim Chief Executive Angus Cockburn said the company had
been hit significantly by the strength of sterling relative to
currencies such as the dollar, Brazilian real and Russian
rouble, despite strong underlying growth.
"(In) the first half, the revenue impact was 80 million
pounds and the trading profit impact was 23 million pounds. So
we have had a significant impact from currency," he told
"In terms of the full year, based off the currency rates in
June, we could see revenue hit by 150 million and profit by
almost 50 million pounds," he said.
The British firm, whose kit powers major events and covers
electricity shortfalls such as the Commonwealth Games in
Glasgow, said pretax profits fell 9 percent to 132 million
pounds ($222.6 million)from 146 million a year earlier.
However, underlying revenue and trading profit rose 12
percent and 6 percent respectively, sending the company's shares
to the third highest spot of the FTSE 100 risers.
Shares in Aggreko, which operates in 100 countries, were 2.9
percent higher at 1771 pence by 0841 GMT. Liberum analysts, who
have a "hold" rating on the stock, said the results were
"First half pre-tax profit is 6 percent ahead of our
forecast, with Q1 underlying growth having increased from 5
percent to 12 percent," they said in a note.
"Overall the outlook is unchanged, although adverse FX
provides an additional 2 percent headwind to forecasts. 2014
should prove a tough year for profit, but a high level of wins
is still required to improve utilisation and we remain cautious
over the impact of increased competition," they said.
The company, which has a market capitalisation of 4.40
billion, said it continued to expect full-year underlying
trading profit to be similar to last year's 312 million.
It also said order intake for the first half of the year was
488 megawatts, ahead of the 397 megawatts secured in the same
period last year.
Cockburn, who is due to step down as interim CEO after 14
and a half years, said he was considering his options, which
some media reports suggested might include joining former CEO
Rupert Soames at support services firm Serco.
This leaves the company without a CEO until Chris Weston,
currently the head of Centrica's British Gas division, joins
next year after serving a 12-month notice period.
($1 = 0.5934 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by Sophie Walker and David