Abbot Group Reports Earnings Growth

Abbot Group plc announced its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2006. Highlights are as follows:

--Turnover increased by 69.8% to US$1,162.9 million (2005: US$685.0 million)
--EBITDA (excludes exceptional items) grew 55.2% to US$155.4 million (2005: US$100.2 million)
--Total operating profit rose 82.8% to US$96.7 million (2005: US$52.9 million)
- Operating profit from engineering** grew 109.8% to US$28.0 million (2005: US$13.4 million) - Operating profits from drilling (excluding exceptional items and intangible asset amortization) grew 71.1% to US$77.2 million (2005: US$45.1 million)
--Profit before tax grew 20.6% to US$55.4 million (2005: US$45.9 million)
--Adjusted earnings per share (excluding exceptional items and intangible asset amortization) grew 16.4% to 21.3 cents (2005: 18.3 cents)
--Adjusted earnings per share excluding the short term dilutive effect of Songa Drilling acquisition 25.5 cents (estimated)
--Total dividend for the year up 10% to 5.5 pence (2005: 5.0 pence)
--Forward revenue visibility at record levels
- US$1.5 billion of new or renewed contracts secured in 2006
- US$430 million of contracts secured so far in 2007
- 96% and 83% of forecast drilling revenues achieved for 2007 and 2008 respectively
--Acquisition of Songa Drilling in June 2006 providing early entry and rig ownership in the MODU market
--Continuing consolidation of Group's position in key strategic future source areas
--Day rates strengthened in 2006, across land rig fleet and MODUS
--Strong performance from engineering subsidiaries, RDS and Bentec.

Alasdair Locke, Executive Chairman of Abbot, commented:

"2006 has been an extremely positive year for Abbot. The success of our strategy of consolidating in the key future source areas for hydrocarbons and our focus on delivering the highest level of technical excellence is evidenced both by our improved profitability and by the strength of our forward order book. We also gained early entry into the MODU market through the acquisition of Songa, providing us with three rigs, which now have forward contracts secured that are valued at around US$560 million. I am also very encouraged by the performance of our engineering subsidiaries following our strategy of operating them as stand alone businesses.

"I believe that robust market dynamics will underpin the Group's continued growth in the short, medium and long term and, as such, I look forward with great confidence."

Abbot Group is a leading international oil and gas services business that operates in around 25 countries worldwide. The Group's predominant focus is on providing development drilling services and rig operation to major oil companies in its key strategic areas of Europe, north and west Africa, the Middle East, the Caspian Sea and Russia. It is the largest offshore platform drilling contractor in the North Sea, an international operator of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) and one of the largest international land drilling contractors outside the Americas. Abbot is also a leader in the field of drilling rig design and construction and the manufacture of land drilling rigs and related components.

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