Amec reports rise in orders

British engineering company Amec increased its earnings by 25 per cent to £94.5m following a rise in orders for the first six months of the year.

The group reported an increase in revenue of 0.4 per cent to £1.26bn, while earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) in all three of the group’s divisions rose by an average of 7.5 per cent.

Adjusted profit before tax increased to £97.5m, eight per cent higher than a year earlier, including a £11.5m reduction in total income as a result of lower market rates and interest on cash deposits.

The first half of the year saw the group win several major contracts with clients including the National Grid, Shell and BP.

However, growth in the Natural Resources and Earth and Environmental divisions was offset by the effects of the company’s refocused strategy in the Power and Process division.

Nevertheless, the group’s order book at the end of June remained strong at £3.2bn, allowing the company to increase its interim dividend by 15 per cent to 6.1 pence per share.

Samir Brikho, Amec’s chief executive, said: ‘These results, achieved in a challenging trading environment, are further evidence of our improved competitive position and internal efficiency. Our investment in developing relationships with key customers continues to result in new contract awards and the quality of our backlog has never been better.

‘The 15 per cent increase in our interim dividend demonstrates our continuing confidence in the future. We are well positioned in long-term growth markets and, upon completion of Operational Excellence, we will benefit from unrivalled strength and operational flexibility. With £700m of cash on the balance sheet, we will seek to supplement organic growth in the business with further value-adding acquisitions.’