Outlook brighter for WorleyParsons

Net profit was $A197.5 million in the six months to December 31 up from $A152.7 million a year earlier. WorleyParsons said the economic crisis was having some impact across all of the sectors the company operates in, with project deferrals and delays in oil and gas, minerals and metals and infrastructure.”Despite some projects and sectors being materially affected by the global economic crisis the outlook in other sectors remain positive,” chief executive officer John Grill said.Grill said the outlook for the remainder of the year was “uncertain” but the company expected to report good growth for the 2009 financial year.Revenue during the half increased 39.2% to $3.15 billion, underpinned by a strong hydrocarbon division, which contributed 73% or $A2.38 billion of the result.However, the company expects to see further contraction across the minerals and metals sector in the next six months until a recovery in the credit market.Select mining-related activities are expected to remain in demand, particularly in the area of updating feasibility studies to reflect changes in project execution and development options given the new financial era.The company perceives several major projects such as the Ma’aden phosphate project in Saudi Arabia and the EMAL smelter in the United Arab Emirates will provide a forward base load in the minerals sector for the near term.The Sydney-based group also won three large contracts in the half, helping to offset a decline in demand for commodity projects. “We expect the recently announced contract awards, amongst the largest in the company’s history, will support earnings in the 2010 financial year and beyond,” Grill said.WorleyParsons declared an interim dividend of 38c, in line with the previous corresponding period.The company’s cash position at the end of December was $126.6 million, with total debt facilities of $1.545 billion. Operating cash flow for the period of $234.5 million was a 110.1% improvement on the $111.6 million in the prior half year.

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