(Adds quote, details, shareprice)
By Thomas Escritt
AMSTERDAM, July 10 Dutch marine services company
Fugro NV has warned that weakness in the oil and gas
industry, combined with technical difficulties, meant its
results for the first half would fall short of expectations,
hammering its shares.
Fugro, involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines' missing
flight MH370, said it would make a one-off writedown of up to
350 million euros ($477.4 million) as a result of slowing growth
in capital spending in the oil and gas industry, which accounts
for three quarters of group revenue.
It said it would report a "low single-digit" margin, on the
basis of earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), for the first
six months of the year, but strong growth in the second half
would partly compensate for the setback.
The full-year margin will still be down on last year.
"For sure we are in a dip," said Chief Executive Paul van
Riel in an analyst call. "But we really are looking at a much
better second half ahead of us and also circumstances like this
do create opportunities."
Fugro shares were down 20 percent at 32.62 euros by 0927
GMT, after falling as low as 32.40 euros, their lowest in nearly
The marine engineering firm said it would restructure parts
of the company to raise efficiency, investing in shared services
centres to lower administrative overheads. It would also slow
its vessel fleet expansion programme.
The company, whose full half-year figures are due on Aug.
11, faces operational difficulties after an engine fire put its
largest vessel out of use for seven weeks, and three deep-sea
diving crews in Brazil went on strike.
Fugro runs a fleet of ships that carry out undersea
surveying and exploration for energy and telecommunications
companies that need to lay cables.
In the hunt for Malaysia Airlines' missing flight MH370, it
is scouring 6,000m depths of the southern Indian Ocean to build
up a detailed map of the ocean floor.
($1 = 0.7331 Euros)
(Editing by David Holmes)