Weir profit falls 22% to £170m; revenue £1.84bn

Shares of Glasgow-based engineering giant Weir Group fell after it said its 2016 profit before tax fell 22% to £170 million and revenue slipped 2% to £1.84 billion amid a “severe oil and gas market downturn.”

Having soared more than 100% over the past year, Weir shares fell 7% on Wednesday to about 1,875p, giving it a stock market value of about £4.3 billion, according to Bloomberg data.

Weir CEO Jon Stanton said: “Following a challenging and prolonged downturn, the group returned to growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 as our main markets showed signs of improvement and we benefited from our on-going investment in new technology and long-term customer relationships. 

“Minerals increased revenues from both original equipment and aftermarket. 

“Oil & Gas extended its technology leadership amidst difficult end markets and flow control benefited from its recent restructuring which supported margins in challenging downstream energy markets. 

“Our record of excellent cash generation continued.  

 “In recent months I have been encouraged by macro commodity trends and the signs in our mining and oil and gas markets that point to a cyclical upturn. 

“Our new strategic priorities will strengthen our capabilities and enable us to fully capture opportunities presented by improving markets, although there is a range of views about the precise shape of the recovery in 2017. 

“At a group level, we expect to deliver strong cash generation and good growth in constant currency revenues. 

“Profit growth will be further supported by foreign currency translation benefits, partly offset by incremental investments in people and technology.”

Weir also said it appointed Geetha Dabir to its group executive in the new position of chief technology officer.

An electrical and software engineer, Dabir held a number of leadership roles with Intel and Cisco Systems and was named as one of the 25 most powerful women in engineering and technology by Business Insider.