Abbot Group Says 2007 Outlook Remains Strong

Abbot Group issued a pre-close trading update ahead of an analyst visit to Bad Bentheim in Germany. The company has also been awarded of two new contracts worth $18 million, bringing the total value of contracts awarded so far in 2007 to over $600 million.

Abbot confirms that trading in the first half of the year has continued to be strong and that the outlook for the year as a whole remains in line with expectations.

In addition, Abbot's jack-up rigs the Ben Rinnes and the Ben Avon have successfully completed their voyage on the heavy-lift vessel across the Atlantic and are now on location in West Africa where they are due to begin operations imminently.

A $10.76 million contract has been awarded to Abbot's engineering, rig design and construction company Bentec, by RAG of Austria. Under the terms of the contract Bentec will design and construct the mast and substructure elements for a new 'Euro Rig', commissioned by RAG for use in mainland Europe.

The Group's engineering subsidiary, RDS, has been also awarded a £3.7 million ($7.38 million) engineering and project management contract by SeaDragon Offshore for the construction of the first in a series of new semi-submersible drilling rigs to be built on Teesside.

Commenting, Alasdair Locke, executive chairman, said: 'These two new contracts demonstrate the increasing ability of our two engineering subsidiaries to attract and win business in their own right, underpinning our strategy of reducing their reliance on Group based contracts.

'Additionally, we continue to experience most favorable market conditions, current trading remains in line with expectations and the outlook remains very positive, giving me great confidence in the future performance of the Group.'

Abbot also announces that it will be hosting a visit to its German engineering subsidiary, Bentec, in Bad Bentheim, on July 5, 2007. The site visit will include a short presentation to be given by senior managers, which is intended to provide a greater understanding of Abbot's operations. There will be no discussion about current trading or future financial performance.