Aggreko hires new chair as H1 revenue falls to £667m

Glasgow-based temporary power generation giant Aggreko plc said on Thursday its revenue fell 13% to £667 million in the six months to June 30 while profit before tax (pre-exceptionals) fell 22% to £47 million.

Including exceptional costs of £181 million, Aggreko made a first-half loss of £134 million.

Aggreko also announced the appointment of former Barratt Developments CEO Mark Clare as its new chair.

Aggreko said it was on track to deliver a performance in line with market expectations until the COVID-19 pandemic struck, causing a sharp reduction in oil prices “impacting two of our key market sectors (oil & gas and petrochemical & refining) …”

The firm was also hit by postponement of the Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games until the summer of 2021.

Nonetheless, Aggreko has approved an interim dividend of 5p per share, down from 9.38p.

Aggreko shares fell almost 2% to around 410p to give the firm a current stock market valuation of around £1 billion. The shares have fallen 50% in the past 12 months.

In its outlook, Aggreko said: “We expect the various markets in which we operate around the world to recover fully from the crisis, but there remains a high degree of uncertainty as to the time it will take.

“While we have seen a gradual improvement in demand in some sectors since May, given that the first few months of the year were largely unimpacted by the pandemic, and that the events and petrochemical and refining sectors are typically busier in the second half of the year, we do not expect to see our usual second half seasonality.

“As a consequence, we currently expect to deliver a pre-exceptional profit before tax for the year in the range £80-100 million.”

Analysts at Peel Hunt wrote: “Management is performing well in very challenging circumstances.

“The cyclical and structural headwinds are significant, but the business is better positioned than many peers.”

Aggreko also announced the appointment of former Barratt Developments CEO Mark Clare as chair designate form October 1, 2020.

“Subject to shareholder approval of his election to the board, Mark will become chair of the board following our 2021 Annual General Meeting.

“This will allow for a managed and orderly transition from the current Chairman, Ken Hanna.

“Ken will step down as chairman and non-executive director at the conclusion of the 2021 Annual General Meeting …”

Clare is currently chair of Grainger plc, senior independent director of United Utilities Group plc and a non-executive director of Premier Marina Holdings Limited.