AMEC boosts profits and dividend

The engineering and services group AMEC (LON:AMEC) has reported profits up by a quarter, and will raise its dividend 15 per cent, in the first six months of the year.

 AMEC boosts profits and dividend

The company’s pre-tax profits jumped to £126 million in the half, up from £101 million in the same period of 2011. The dividend will grow from 10.2p to 11.7p.

Samir Brikho, the chief executive, pointed to the group’s performance in the oil, gas and mining sectors as the drivers of the results.

‘The order book has been maintained at record levels. We see continued demand for our services, and this has not been significantly impacted by the on-going economic uncertainty’.

AMEC now expects double-digit growth in its underlying revenues for 2012, as sales have leapt up 37 per cent to over £2 billion since January.

In addition to the higher dividend, the group has purchased £158 million of its own shares as part of a planned £400 million buyback scheme.

Brikho also noted that the firm was using its cash to snap up other businesses. ‘We have completed two acquisitions year-to-date, expanding our engineering capability in the nuclear sector and further strengthening our geographic footprint in Australia. The pipeline of further acquisition opportunities remains good’.

AMEC’s share price slipped over 5 per cent on the news, though, to £10.96.

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