France's GTT Sees Recovery Ahead After Rebound In Orders


Feb 16 (Reuters) - French gas transport systems supplier GTT said on Friday that 2017 saw a rebound in orders for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, leading it to forecast an improvement in its results in 2018 and beyond.

Global LNG imports rose 20 percent in 2017, driven by strong demand from China, South Korea and Southeast Asia, fuelling demand for the carriers GTT equips.

"The share of Asia in LNG imports still has a tendency to grow," Chief Executive Philippe Berterottiere said during a call with journalists.

"Seventy-five percent of the LNG in the world goes to Asia, so LNG is an energy source that is essentially burned in Asia."

The company said it received 21 ship orders in 2017, compared to five in 2016, and has booked a further four so far this year.

The market for LNG carriers slowed in 2016 as an oversupply of LNG kept prices low and led some market players to postpone investment decisions.

GTT said its 2017 consolidated revenue fell 2.3 percent to 231.6 million euros, as the difficult market environment in 2016 led to falling royalties for LNG carriers.

Full-year consolidated core profit (EBITDA) fell 2.9 percent to 142.1 million euros.

For 2018 the company sees revenue recovering to 235-250 million euros, with consolidated core profit of 145-155 million euros.

The company proposed a dividend of 2.66 euros per share for 2017.

($1 = 0.8037 euros)

(Reporting by Camille Raynaud; Editing by Susan Fenton and Adrian Croft)


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