Aker Sees 'Big Opportunities' in Engineering Business

Norwegian oilfield services provider Aker Solutions said Tuesday that its sees several "big opportunities" in its engineering business with a current high level of activity in conceptual work, indicating a "new wave" of engineering projects in the years to come.

Reporting its second-quarter results, Aker revealed that its 2Q 2013 revenue, at $2 billion (NOK 11.9 billion), was the same as that for 2Q 2012. But profit at the EBITDA level was lower at $161 million (NOK 946 million), compared with $231 million (NOK 1.36 billion) in 2Q 2012. 

Aker said that its earnings for 2Q 2013 were adversely affected by low capacity utilization in the engineering business as new orders waned. The firm said that the result was also affected by idle time at its Aker Wayfarer and Skandi Aker vessels as well as a minor loss at its umbilicals business.

However, Aker Executive Chairman Øyvind Eriksen commented that the second-quarter saw the business resolve executive problems that had led to weak results at the start of the year and that it delivered on key projects, including the Ekofisk Zulu platform (which was handed over as planned to ConocoPhillips during the summer) and seven umbilical systems.

Capacity utilization at Aker's new engineering hubs in the UK and the US was low during the second quarter, it said, after the loss of several large contract bids in late 2012 and early 2013. Consequently, the firm laid off some non-permanent staff, mainly at its London and Houston hubs.

Despite this, Aker said it continues to experience robust demand for its products and services in most markets and is well-positioned in the fast-growing deep-water segment.



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