Pre close trading Update
Hunting PLC's current trading is good with an order book for some operations extending into the first half of next year
19 December 2008
Hunting (LSE:HTG) today issues a trading update in advance of entering its close period.
Dennis Proctor, Hunting's Chief Executive, said
"The Group's current trading is good with an order book for some operations extending into the first half of next year. Despite the recent hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that interrupted production for two weeks, the collapse of oil and gas prices and the global financial crisis, we expect year end results to be in line with market expectations.
Hunting Energy Services' Well Construction Division will see a significant year over year improvement in earnings due to continued shale oil and gas drilling throughout the United States and as a result of additional capital expenditure within the division. The Well Completion Division will have a year over year modest growth primarily due to delays in North Sea completion activity. The Exploration and Production Division of Hunting Energy will see a year over year growth, however, minimized due to the fourth quarter lower commodity prices. Hunting Energy France will do a slightly lower year over year performance due to slippage in the delivery of orders into 2009. Gibson Shipbrokers has experienced a record year performance and therefore achieved greater results than 2007.
Clearly, oil and gas company capital expenditures are expected to decline in 2009, due to both commodity price decreases and global financial market conditions. It would be implausible to suggest how long and to what extent the expected decline will be. Any second half improvement in 2009 will be dependent on weather conditions in North America and the draw down of gas storage as well as oil price stability.
At this juncture, many of our operators have yet to announce their budgeted capital expenditure for 2009. Our North American facilities will be more impacted by the decline in natural gas drilling. Contracts in Southeast Asia and the Middle East should remain solid through the first half of 2009.
Following the sale of Gibson Energy as announced on December 12, the Company is strongly positioned financially to manage the declining industry, and more importantly, seize opportunities that will arise for investment of the capital. The longer-term industry fundamentals remain solid and upon recovery of the global market demand, the Company's assets are well positioned to regain strong earnings growth."
For further information please contact:
Hunting PLC Dennis Proctor, Chief Executive Peter Rose, Finance Director Tel: 020 7321 0123
Close Brothers Corporate Finance Limited Andrew Cunningham Michelle Le Merre Tel: 020 7655 3100
RBS Hoare Govett Limited Andrew Foster Tom Perry Tel: 020 7678 8000
Buchanan Communications Ben Willey Richard Darby Chris McMahon Tel: 020 7466 5000
Notes to Editors:
About Hunting PLC
Hunting PLC is an international energy services provider to the world's leading upstream oil and gas companies. Established in 1874, it is a fully listed public company traded on the London Stock Exchange. The Company maintains a corporate office in Houston and is headquartered in London. As well as the United Kingdom, the Company has principal operations in Canada, China, France, Holland, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.