September 30, 2019 / 7:16 AM / 24 days ago

UPDATE 1-Gulf Marine posts lower first-half profit in challenging markets

(Adds details on order book, cost savings and background)

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Oilfield industry contractor Gulf Marine Services reported lower first-half adjusted core earnings on Monday in delayed results, citing challenging markets.

The company, which published its results after securing financing arrangements until the end of the year from its lenders, said adjusted core earnings fell 12.2% to $22.3 million in the six months to June 30.

“While the immediate future remains challenging, we are confident that demand for vessels in our largest market, the Middle East, is strengthening,” the company said.

The order book for next financial year showed improvement with almost half the fleet secured on firm contracts, Gulf Marine said, calling it a “significantly stronger position than at the same point 12 months ago”.

The company has set a new cost-saving target of $8.5 million for this year, saying it would exceed its earlier aim of $6 million.

Gulf Marine, which is continuing talks with lenders for a long-term solution, said last month it expected 2019 core profit of between $45 million and $48 million, below last year’s $58 million, prompting top boss Duncan Anderson’s exit.

Tensions in the Persian Gulf, a worrisome global growth outlook and uncertainty over oil prices have recently dampened investor confidence. (Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Subhranshu Sahu)

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