Rising profits and ‘supportive’ industry provides shareholder cheer for Weir
Energy and minerals sector engineering firm Weir Group’s shares were up three per cent this afternoon after it announced revenues rose last year, hailing 2018 as “transformational”.
The company, which makes pumps for mining and oil and gas firms, saw underlying profits rise more than one-fifth over the year, offset by the £750m acquisition of US mining company Esco.
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Weir made £53m last year, compared to £184m in 2017, but underlying profit was £310m, up 22 per cent on £255m the previous year.
The firm saw revenues rise steeply, from £1.99bn in 2017 to £2.45bn last year, up 23 per cent.
But net debt also spiralled, up to £1.13bn last year, from £843m the year before.
Why it’s interesting
Weir shareholders were expecting profit to drop steeply this year after it bought out Esco, it’s largest ever acquisition, and the firm’s share value increased on this morning’s results.
The company said it expects profits and revenues to continue rising at their current rate over the coming year “assuming the current supportive market conditions continue”.
What Weir said
Jon Stanton, chief executive, said: “The last year has been transformational for the group. With Esco, we completed our largest ever acquisition.
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“The result is a more focused and higher-quality global business that is simpler and stronger with more than 80 per cent of the group's revenues from attractive upstream mining and oil and gas markets.
“Looking to the full year, we currently expect our mining and infrastructure markets to continue to benefit from positive industry fundamentals with oil and gas activity to improve modestly from current levels.”