Keppel on Thursday posted a full-year profit of S$1.9 billion, beating the S$1.6 billion average estimate of 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
The fourth-quarter profit was boosted by a 2.6 percent gain in offshore and marine unit’s pretax profit and contribution from the infrastructure unit that posted a loss a year earlier. Its property division’s pretax income dropped 37 percent on the year, Keppel said in a statement.
Keppel, one of the world’s biggest builders of offshore drilling rigs, said its offshore and marine division secured S$5.5 billion of orders in 2014, bringing its net order book to S$12.5 billion, down from S$14.2 billion at the end of 2013.
Its offshore and marine division, which contributes more than half of the company’s revenue and profit, posted a 10 percent increase in its 2014 profit, against the backdrop of sharply falling oil prices.
“The fall in oil prices, the expected reduction in global oil and gas upstream spending and the projected oversupply of oil rigs has created a challenging environment,” Keppel said.
Profit from its infrastructure unit jumped to S$320 million in 2014 from S$16 million, though property division’s profit fell 42 percent.
The company, in which Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings is the largest shareholder with a 21 percent stake, declared a cash dividend of 36 Singapore cents per share, up from 30 Singapore cents a year earlier.
Keppel Corporation and its subsidiary Keppel Land Ltd called a trading halt of their shares on Wednesday. ($1 = 1.3325 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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