MILAN (Reuters) – Italian oil services group Saipem <SPMI.MI> beat expectations in the second quarter as new orders more than doubled but it stuck to its cautious outlook for the year.
The contractor, jointly controlled by oil major Eni <ENI.MI> and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, said core earnings in the period jumped 47% to 308 million euros ( £275 million ), above a Refinitiv consensus of 265 million euros.
“I am satisfied with the positive results recorded in the first half of 2019 despite a scenario that does not yet show clear signs of recovery,” Chief Executive Stefano Cao said.
Thanks to improved cash flow Saipem was able to cut its net debt target for the year by around 20% to below 800 million euros.
But it said the ongoing low level of spending by oil companies and oil price volatility would continue and confirmed expectations for full-year revenues of around 9 billion euros.
Saipem, a market leader in subsea engineering & construction, is looking to develop new lines of business to boost order books, including floating wind power farms and dismantling oil and gas platforms.
It has said it is looking for partners for its onshore and offshore drilling businesses.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes)