Aker Boosts Order Book to All-Time High

Norwegian oilfield services firm Aker Solutions revealed Wednesday that it boosted its order book to an all-time high of $12.2 billion (NOK 71.7 billion) at the end of March – a 67-percent increase on a year earlier.

Reporting its first quarter results, Aker said its order intake during 1Q 2013 was $4.3 billion (NOK 25.5 billion) compared with $1.9 billion (NOK 11.3 billion) in 1Q 2012.

1Q revenue improved to $ 1.9 billion (NOK 11.1 billion), compared with $1.7 billion (NOK 9.8 billion) during 1Q 2012, while the firm’s EBITDA profit for the quarter came in at $147.5 million (NOK 868 million) – down 16.5 percent on 1Q 2012.

Aker blamed its lower earnings on the impact of increased costs of around $11.9 million (NOK 70 million) at the Ekofisk Zulu platform project, as work was accelerated to deliver the platform by mid-June this year. The firm also said that its umbilicals business area lost $10.7 million (NOK 63 million) during the quarter after it wrote down the value of several projects, while its oilfield services and marine assets business area lost $9.2 million (NOK 54 million) as the vessels Aker Wayfarer and Skandi Aker stood idle.

Aker had already warned of a slow start to 2013 at the end of April, but Executive Chairman Øyvind Eriksen said that "the long-term trend in our main markets is positive" in spite of the firm recently seeing some customers take longer to make final decisions to award contracts.

Aker added that it expects earnings during the third and fourth quarters of this year to be greater than 3Q and 4Q 2012.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com


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