Ezra's Net Profit Soars 577% for 9M FY08

Ezra Holdings Limited has reported its results for the nine months, ended May 31, 2008 (9M FY08). The Group’s net attributable profit soared 577% to US$168.7 million, while turnover doubled to US$149.1 million in 9M FY08.

This significant rise in revenue was largely the result of the robust offshore chartering and engineering fabrication markets. Ezra’s Offshore Support Services was kept busy managing 32 vessels. Revenue increased by US$61.5 million due mainly to contributions over the nine month period from thirteen vessels including two AHTS that are in excess of 18,000bhp, as well as higher daily charter rates on renewal.

Contributions from accommodation barge Lewek Chancellor and pipe laying barge Lewek Champion owned by Ezra’s production and construction arm EOC Limited (EOC) also helped lift earnings.

The Group’s Marine Services Division performed well too, with sales rising 134% in 9M FY08, thanks to increased procurement and equipment supply and engineering activities in Vietnam.

Said Ezra’s Managing Director, Lionel Lee, "We are reaping the benefits of our fully integrated offshore support services model and execution of our plan to build up our capabilities in the deepwater segment, under which we provide clients with a comprehensive range of support vessels that can be deployed at different stages of an oilfield’s life cycle. This strategy has enabled us to strengthen our ties with various oil majors as they look to develop new offshore fields, especially those in deepwaters.

"With a committed capex of US$650 million for the construction of 5 large Multi Functional Supply Vessels (MFSVs) underway, Ezra expects to further enhance its position as a key global player in the deep and ultra deepwater offshore support service sector.

"Our 9M FY08 net profit has surpassed the US$68.2 million we achieved for FY07 and we are on course this year to strike yet another record in the Group’s earnings history. At the same time, we have worked hard to strengthen our balance sheet through active capital management and Ezra is now in a strong position to move into its next growth phase," said Lee.

Ezra’s interest cover has improved significantly, rising to 37.8x in 9M FY08 against 9.3x in 9M FY07, and the Group has maintained a healthy cash position of US$144 million with a net cash of US$6.2 million.

Ezra has been steadily increasing and fine-tuning its fleet to meet the arduous demands of the offshore oil and gas sector. Its Oslo mainboard-listed associate, EOC, recently announced that it had successfully delivered the Lewek Arunothai on time to a Southeast Asian oil company. This contract, worth up to US$400 million, is its largest to-date in value terms. Among the biggest gas FPSOs operating in the world, the Lewek Arunothai will be deployed in one of the largest natural gas fields in the Gulf of Thailand.



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