Seismic Firm CGG Delivered 'Satisfactory' Profit during 4Q 2015

French seismic survey specialist CGG said Thursday that it delivered a "satisfactory level" of profit during the fourth quarter of 2015 in spite of a very difficult market environment.

CGG CEO Jean-Georges Malcor said that the firm enjoyed a strong performance in terms of demand for its multi-client library as well as resilience from the Equipment segment of its business.

However, Malcor said that 2016 will remain difficult after a "very weak start" to the year.

"In this context, the group is resolutely implementing its Transformation Plan, particularly with the reduction in its fleet to five vessels by the end of the first quarter of 2016," Malcor said.

The firm's Contractual Data Acquisition business will gradually decline to less than 15 percent of group revenue, while its Geology, Geophysics and Reservoir operation will represent more than 60 percent. By implementing "very rigorous" cash management, CGG is targeting a net debt of less than $2.4 billion by the end of the year, compared to its debt at the end of 2015 of $2.5 billion.

"CGG is refocusing on its high-added value Geoscience businesses while reducing its exposure in its cash-burning activities. In the current, strongly-deteriorated market conditions, I would like to emphasize the strong mobilization of all our employees to even better serve our clients and provide solutions to their new challenges, with the same standards of reliability and excellence," Malcor added.

CGG's group revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was significantly lower at $589 million (4Q 2014: $904 million), but the firm managed to improve its operating margin at the EBITDA level so that it produced a 4Q 2015 EBITDA of $282 million (4Q 2014: 402 million). At the bottom line, CGG's net loss for the quarter was reduced to $256 million (4Q 2014: 667 million loss).

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