April 29 Ensco Plc, owner of the world's
second-largest offshore drilling fleet, reported a
larger-than-expected 20 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped
by the deployment of new rigs over the past year.
While rig utilization across its fleet decreased by three
percentage points over the past year to 86 percent in the first
quarter, the average rate paid for the London-based company's
rigs climbed by 15 percent.
Net profit rose to $317 million, or $1.36 per share, from
$265 million, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier. Analysts, on
average, had expected $1.29 per share, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue grew 13 percent to $1.15 billion.
The growth was driven by the higher dayrates and the
addition of rigs to the fleet. Chief Executive Dan Rabun
highlighted the deployment of a new rig for Anadarko in
the Gulf of Mexico and the start-up of another going to work for
BP off Angola.
"In both cases, these ultra-deepwater assets started
multi-year programs for repeat customers reinforcing the
advantages that fleet standardization provides for us and our
customers," Rabun said in a statement.
Growing demand for deepwater rigs also gave a lift to the
quarterly results of rivals Noble Corp and Diamond
Offshore Drilling Inc. Sector leader
Transocean Ltd is due to report results next week.