* Sees 2013 revenue of $970 mln-$1.05 bln vs $931 mln in
* Sees 2013 multi-client investments of $530-600 mln
* Shares rise over 7 pct
(Adds analysts, shares, Dolphin comments, detail)
By Victoria Klesty
OSLO, Jan 8 Seismic surveyor TGS-Nopec,
which scans the sea floor for oil and gas deposits, beat 2012
revenue expectations and forecast growth of up to 13 percent
this year as oil firms ramp up spending on exploration.
Shares in the Norwegian company rose over 7 percent on
Tuesday after it also said it would step up investment to help
meet growing demand.
Oil companies are spending more on exploration as prices
have remained high despite gloomy economic conditions.
TGS's smaller rival, Dolphin Group, predicted on
Tuesday its 2013 revenues would leap between 40 and 50 percent.
"It is a very good outlook, the guidance is solid," said
Nordea Markets analyst Joergen Andreas Lande of TGS' prospects.
"First, the better (than expected) fourth quarter numbers
are very positive, and second, increasing investments. They are
expanding on higher demand."
TGS said it expected revenue this year of between $970
million and $1.05 billion.
Its 2012 net revenue came in at about $931 million, above
its target of $870-910 million, with fourth-quarter revenue at
about $280 million, up 55 percent from the same period in 2011.
TGS shares, which have surged 38 percent over the past year,
were up 7.2 percent to 193.4 Norwegian crowns at 0855 GMT.
"We expect 2013 consensus on revenues to increase by at
least 5 percent given management's recent record of issuing
conservative guidance," Danske Markets analyst Jo Henrik Eriksen
said in a note to clients.
Last year, TGS raised its guidance three times throughout
TGS said it expected to invest between $530 million and $600
million in 2013 in its multi-client library of survey data -
information it sells to a variety of customers.
Multi-client scanning typically generates higher profit
margins than contract seismic exploration, but comes with added
risks since it cannot be sure it will be sold at all.
TGS's investments in 2012 reached $494 million.
The firm saw "strong client interest to invest in both new
and existing data," and said its vessel capacity remained
adequate to execute its plan. It does not own its own vessels
but instead leases them.
TGS is set to release its final results on Feb. 7.
Dolphin Group said it expected 2013 revenue to top $300
million, and that operating margins would improve.
It noted high exploration activity among oil firms in
northern Europe, South America and Africa.
(Additional reporting by Henrik Oliver Stolen; Editing by Mark