Hunting PLC the international energy services group today provides a pre-close trading statement ahead of its 2013 Half Year Results to be announced on Thursday 29 August 2013.
Dennis Proctor, Hunting’s Chief Executive said,“Trading in the first six months of the year has been supported by increasing activity in the Gulf of Mexico and continued investment in the oil-focused shale basins. While global rig counts remain generally flat since the start of the year, Hunting’s broad portfolio of products provides the opportunity to capture a significant proportion of revenue for every well drilled, whether onshore or offshore. As a consequence of this, the Board remains confident of trading in line with expectations.
“The Group continues to progress geographic expansion, with plans well advanced to establish manufacturing capability in South Africa to capture more opportunities across sub-Sahara Africa. Other facility expansion programs within North America are also planned, including a new premium connections threading facility and a new premium connection testing laboratory which will support more rapid product development across a number of key product lines.”
Within Well Construction, Hunting’s Premium Connection business has benefited from strong offshore activity in the Gulf of Mexico and globally, with sustained activity in the oil-focused shale basins including the Williston, Bakken and Eagle Ford shales. The Drilling Tools platform has seen an improved performance as the year has progressed, with further investments made at the company’s facilities within the oil shales.
Activity within the Electronics division, formerly known as Innova, has been subdued in the early part of the year as customers work off existing inventory. Hunting Dearborn continues to have a strong order book, with orders secured for the remainder of the year. Marketing initiatives within the Advanced Manufacturing Group continue to attract interest and include establishing a sales presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hunting Titan continues to deliver results in line with management’s expectations. In May 2013 the business acquired its Canadian distributor resulting in an additional seven distribution centres and a manufacturing/repair facility coming under the ownership of Hunting Titan in the Western Canada oil patch. Hunting Titan is also benefiting from improved efficiencies as lean manufacturing practices are implemented across all of its facilities.
Hunting’s US Manufacturing facilities have reported good activity levels throughout the year driven by increased activity in the Gulf of Mexico. The Group has now fully commissioned phase one of its deepwater facility in Houma, Louisiana and is now planning a second phase of investment, which will see additional manufacturing capabilities being developed to meet demand in the North American market.
Within Well Intervention, the Subsea platform at Stafford, Texas continues to deliver an improved performance, with a sales presence now established in Europe aimed at capturing opportunities identified in that region. Hunting’s pressure control and other well intervention product lines have reported good growth in the period as the business increases its presence in North America.
“Hunting is well positioned to capture growth opportunities as global investment in oil and gas exploration continues both onshore and offshore. The outlook therefore remains positive for the Group for the rest of the year.The Group remains well capitalised with a strong balance sheet and net debt as at 30 June 2013 of approximately £160 million,”said the company in a statement.