* H1 sales rise 9 percent to 637 mln pounds
* H1 trading profit falls to 127 mln pounds
* Trading profit up 17 pct excluding sport deals in 2010, sales up 21 pct
* Expects year trading profit to be around 315 mln pounds, up 3 pct from 2010
* Shares rise 3.1 percent, among top FTSE gainers (Adds detail, analyst & company comments, updates shares)
By Adveith Nair
LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) - British group Aggreko , the world’s biggest provider of temporary power, said it expects to report full-year profit ahead of market estimates, after posting a 17 percent increase in underlying earnings for the first half.
Aggreko expects full-year trading profit of about 315 million pounds ($516.6 million), up 3 percent, helped by a strong start to the second half at its International Power business, which provides temporary power stations mainly to developing countries.
“The underlying rate of growth in revenues is running at over 20 percent, and it is encouraging to note that this growth is being delivered by both the Local business and International Power Projects,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. “We are now well placed to deliver a strong second half.”
Aggreko had said in June trading profit for the year would be slightly ahead of 2010 levels, and Thursday’s forecast is ahead of consensus estimates of 306 million pounds, according to Peel Hunt.
“Aggreko is now heading towards the end of the peak summer season and appears to have traded well through the period which bodes well for the previous expectation that the International Power Projects business should see acceleration into the second half,” Singer Capital Markets analyst Andy Murphy said.
Shares in the company were up 2.6 percent at 1,809 pence at 0815 GMT, among the top risers on Britain’s blue-chip FTSE index.
In the six months to end-June, trading profit slipped 3 percent to 127 million pounds, hurt by a lack of major sporting contracts that boosted results last year, on revenue up 9 percent at 637 million.
However, on an underlying basis, excluding sporting events last year, trading profit was up 17 percent, while sales were up 21 percent.
Aggreko helped power soccer’s World Cup, the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the Asian Games in 2010, with the events adding about 50 million pounds to revenue in the first-half.
While it does not have any high-profile sporting contracts this year, it will provide temporary power for the London Olympics next year and the World Athletics Championships in South Korea later this year.
“The next Annus mirabilis, where you get three major sporting events in one year, is not till 2014,” Chief Executive Rupert Soames told reporters.
$1 = 0.610 pound Reporting by Adveith Nair; Editing by Dan Lalor