PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) - French oil services company Technip posted a sharp rise in second-quarter profit, beating analyst forecasts as it secured new contracts for pipes in West Africa and North America, seemingly unaffected by the woes of its competitors.
The builder of oil rigs maintained its full-year earnings growth targets after it reported a 19 percent year-on-year rise in quarterly net profit to 162 million euros ($215 million) and an operating margin of 10 percent.
It confirmed a forecast for group sales to grow by between 11 and 16 percent in 2013 and its operating margin to be around 15 percent at its subsea unit and 6-7 percent at its onshore/offshore unit.
Technip shares rose 2.9 percent by 0705 GMT on Thursday, the top gainer on the CAC 40 index of French blue-chip stocks .
"The margin of 15.9 percent in the subsea division shows the growth potential for margins from 2014 once new assets, two vessels and a plant, are up and running," said Julien Laurent, energy analyst at Natixis in Paris.
The results stand out because competitors such as Italy's Saipem, the sector leader, and Norwegian groups Aker and Subsea 7 have all issued profit warnings this year, blaming Brazilian activities.
In Brazil, dominant national company Petrobras's negotiating tactics and government demands have combined to squeeze industry profit margins. Saipem has also been embroiled in a corruption scandal in Algeria.
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