Deals help Wood Group weather storm

Shares of Aberdeen-based global energy services giant Wood Group rose almost 3% on Thursday after it published a strong trading update for the year to 31 December.

Wood Group said its outlook for 2015 remained unchanged and it anticipated full year performance in line with previous guidance of earnings of around $465 million.

“In what is expected to be a prolonged period of challenging market conditions we are benefitting from our flexible business model …” said Wood Group.

“Our balance sheet and cashflow generation remain strong, supporting the delivery of strategic acquisitions and our previously stated intention to increase the dividend by a double digit percentage in 2015.”

Wood Group said its strong balance sheet allowed it to reinvest in its businesses and to pursue acquisitions and organic growth.

“Ongoing dividends, organic investment and M&A remain our preferred uses of cash” said the company.

“The recently announced acquisition of Infinity, which is expected to close by the end of December 2015, and the completion of the acquisitions of Automated Technology Group in September and Beta Machinery Analysis in June demonstrate the benefits of our strong focus on M&A.”

The Infinity Group is an industrial construction and maintenance company in the petrochemical, refining and gas processing sectors.