Oilfield services firm Hunting posts H1 profit vs year-earlier loss

Aug 30 (Reuters) - Hunting Plc, a U.S. shale-focused oilfield services provider, reported a profit for the first half of 2018, compared with a year-earlier loss, as demand picked up on the back of rising crude prices.

The British-listed group also reinstated its dividend, declaring an interim payout of 4 cents per share.

Hunting and other oilfield services providers are benefiting as energy producers spend more following a period of aggressive cost cuts spurred by a prolonged slump in oil prices.

Hunting, which makes guns used to perforate oil and gas wells in preparation for production, said it saw a stronger market environment in American onshore drilling in the first half. Other markets were also seeing improving trends, it said.

“However, there are headwinds given the introduction of trading tariffs for steel and the continuing volatile geopolitical environment,” Chief Executive Jim Johnson said in a statement.

The company reported profit from operations of $38.9 million in the six months ended June 30, compared with a loss of $23.9 million a year earlier. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)