Kentz has €11.4bn of work in pipeline

Kentz — the Irish-founded engineering services group — closed 2013 with a pipeline of outstanding work projects, worth $15.6bn (€11.4bn); up 18% on the previous year.

 Christian Brown: We are starting in a strong position.

In its pre-close trading statement — ahead of the publication of its annual results in late March — Kentz said yesterday its standalone backlog of work was valued at $3.1bn, at year’s end. When the addition of US-based exploration facility solutions provider, Valerus FS — which Kentz bought at the turn of this year — is included, the group’s overall backlog amounts to $3.5bn.

The recently announced acquisition of Valerus will increase Kentz’s exposure to higher value/margin contracts, improve its footprint in the US and give it an increased presence in Latin and South America.

Yesterday’s update also saw Kentz — which specialises in providing infrastructural support services for major oil and gas exploration companies around the world — say that diluted earnings per share, for 2013, should be in line with expectations and reflect double-digit growth on the previous 12 months.

“We are starting the year in a very strong position and foresee the delivery of yet another strong performance in 2014,” group chief executive Christian Brown said.

“2013 has been a very busy year for bidding activity, with record levels of bidding undertaken, adding to the strong growth in our order intake and year-end backlog. Additionally, there are a number of bids outstanding that will be awarded in the first half of 2014,” he added.

Mr Brown also touched on the company’s aforementioned recent US acquisition; saying that the Valerus addition should be earnings enhancing and will help to continue to create future shareholder value.

Kentz used its $400m term-loan facility to complete the acquisition; but noted yesterday that it remains in a strong cash position.

The group finished 2013 in a gross cash position of approximately $245m, providing the business with “a sound financial base from which to support continued growth”.

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