LONDON May 1 British engineer Weir
said first quarter performance was hit by fewer orders in its
oil and gas division, but maintained its forecast for full-year
low single digit revenue growth.
The fall in orders on the oil and gas side was partially
offset by the contribution of recent acquisitions, the pumps and
valves maker said on Wednesday.
Overall order input in oil and gas for the 13 weeks to
end-March was down 14 percent compared to the same period last
year, with original equipment orders sliding 32 percent.
The oil services sector has shown recent strain, with
Norway's Aker Solutions posting a profit warning on
Monday, leading to its stock plunging 20 percent.
Weir's shares, which have gained 15 percent this year so
far, traded down 1 percent in early trade, underperforming the
FTSE100 index, up 0.2 percent.
Weir said the upstream oil and gas market remained
challenging, with average U.S. rig count, an important market
for the company, 12 percent lower year on year.
The engineer also announced that its chairman, Robert Smith,
would step down at the end of the year to be replaced by Charles
Berry, who will serve as deputy chairman until then.