Marine service provider James Fisher and Sons' first half revenue was slightly lower than last year at £209.3m (2015: £213.1m). This reflected reduced activity levels in Offshore Oil, the cessation of the Angola contract in the second quarter and revenues from its new contract wins only starting to come through. Underlying profit before tax was £17.5m compared with £17.8m last time and underlying diluted earnings per share was 29.4p (2015: 29.5p). Three of the group's divisions, Marine Support (+26%), Specialist Technical (+9%) and Tankships (+15%) showed strong profit growth with its new contracts in renewables, defence and nuclear beginning to contribute from the second quarter and Marine Support benefiting from strong demand in the ship to ship (STS) transfer market. Offshore Oil, by contrast, continued to face tough trading conditions with a result similar to that seen in the second half of 2015 but sharply lower compared to last year's first half which had not seen the full impact of the industry downturn. The group said demand in its Offshore Oil markets appears to have stabilised but at the low levels experienced since the middle of last year. Chief executive Nick Henry said: "Strong performances in Specialist Technical, Marine Support and Tankships, which together increased underlying operating profit by 18%, offset reduced activity levels in Offshore Oil leaving the first half similar to last year. "With new contracts in renewables, defence and nuclear decommissioning contributing fully in the second half and continued firm demand for ship to ship services, we expect to see a resumption of growth in the second half leading to a good improvement in the result for the full year."
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