SINGAPORE, April 11 Singaporean oilfield service
company Ezra Holdings Ltd reported its highest
quarterly profit in a year thanks to improved performance in its
mainstay subsea business.
Ezra spent much of last year struggling with project delays
and cost overruns in its subsea unit, which operates vessels
that lay pipes and install other equipment on the sea bed.
But increased use of its subsea fleet, even after a rise in
the number of vessels, helped push up revenue in the second
quarter ended Feb. 28 by 22 percent to $300.4 million.
Net profit for the quarter stood at $19.6 million, the
company said in a statement on Friday. That was 34 percent less
than a previous high of $29.7 million in the year-earlier
period, which benefited from a one-off gain.
"The results are really turning around, because we have now
reached the economies of scale," Managing Director Lionel Lee
said at an earnings briefing.
In the fiscal first half, the subsea services division made
up 65 percent of revenue, up from 57 percent a year earlier, and
contributed the majority of the increased revenue, the company
Earnings will get a boost over the remainder of the year,
Lee said, thanks to the recent addition of four pipelay and
construction support vessels, as well as the upcoming delivery
of Lewek Constellation - a state-of-the-art vessel capable of
laying pipes in water deeper than 3,000 metres.
The company won a contract from Noble Energy
involving Lewek Constellation, Ezra said on Friday without
disclosing the size of the contract.
Ezra is currently bidding for contracts worth $9 billion,
and expects to win 30 percent of them, Lee said.
"There continues to be a strong amount of investment in
putting infrastructure in place to produce oil and gas," said
Ezra focuses on field development, so any slowdown in
spending on drilling by global oil majors will have minimal
impact on earnings, Lee said.
Shares of Ezra were 0.5 percent lower at S$1.07 after the
earnings release compared with a 0.1 percent decline in the
benchmark index. The stock is the worst performer among
the top 10 Singapore-listed oilfield service companies this
year, having fallen more than 21 percent.
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Christopher Cushing)