Oilfield Services Firm Hunting to Cut Jobs, Realign Business Units


Feb 16 (Reuters) – Hunting Plc said it would cut an unspecified number of jobs and take other cost-saving measures as the oil and gas services firm faces a declining oil rig count.

Shares in London-listed Hunting fell as much as 12.6 percent, before partly recovering on Monday morning.

Hunting said it expected the slump in crude oil prices and falling global rig counts to hurt its profitability for the year.

The number of oil rigs in the United States, which accounts for about 60 percent of Hunting's annual revenue, fell last week to its lowest since August 2011, a survey showed on Friday.

Hunting said it expected most of its businesses to bear the brunt of the lower oil prices from the second quarter of 2015.

The company, which did not provide a financial forecast for 2015, said its well completion and well construction businesses would be the most affected.

Hunting said its cost-cut measures also included reduction of operating shifts and hiring freezes. It also began a programme to cut non-essential costs in its global supply chain and realign its business units.

"While not directly quantified in the statement, we expect these actions, along with the company's robust balance sheet... to be supportive through the downturn, also putting the company on the front foot when the market does eventually start to recover," Deutsche Bank analysts said in a note.

Hunting shares were down 3.9 percent at 476.7 pence at 0905 GMT.

(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)



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