(Corrects quote in paragraph 8 to 'million' from 'billion')
* 2012 FY profit 365 mln stg vs 327 mln a yr ago
* Raises dividend by 15 pct
* Expectations for 2013 unchanged
* Flags double-digit growth in revenue over 5 yrs
* Shares up 14 percent
By Lorraine Turner
LONDON, March 7 Temporary power provider Aggreko
said it would increase its dividend by 15 percent and
reassured investors reeling from two earlier profit warnings,
sending shares 14 percent higher.
The British company, whose kit powers major events and
covers electricity shortfalls, warned in December that fewer
U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a likely fall in business as Japan
recovers from the 2011 earthquake, and the absence of a summer
Olympics would combine to cut 100 million pounds from revenue.
"Our results in 2013 are going to be slightly below those of
2012 ... we're reiterating that guidance from December," chief
executive Rupert Soames said on Thursday, soothing investors
rattled by two profit warnings in as many months.
Shares rose 14 percent at 1104 GMT, the biggest gainer on a
flat FTSE 100, helped by a better-than-expected dividend
increase of 15 percent to 23.9 pence.
"These are the kind of messages that Aggreko has needed to
put out to support confidence in the long-term growth prospects
that have recently moved behind the clouds of a number of
near-term challenges," said analysts at Oriel Securities.
In a note titled "Relief" Investec analysts said the update
was encouraging and upped its recommendation on the stock to
'buy' from 'hold'.
Shares are still 17 percent lower than their peak last year.
Soames conceded the going would still be tough in 2013.
"We've got some strong very headwinds (this year), because we
won't have 60 million pounds of revenues from the London
Aggreko supplied more than 600 generators to help keep
stadiums and venues lit up last summer.
But the group noted a very strong start at its local
business this year. It flagged double-digit growth in revenues
with margins and return on capital employed (ROCE) in excess of
20 percent over the next five years in a strategy update.
Pretax profit for 2012, pre-exceptional items and
amortisation, rose 11 percent to 365 million pounds ($549.49
million), in line with market expectations. Underlying sales
were 14 percent higher at 1.6 billion pounds.
Its local business division, which operates mainly in mature
markets, was boosted by a strong performance in North America,
with reported revenues up 23 percent overall.
Growth slackened in the second half at Aggreko's
international power projects business, which operates in
developing markets. It forecasts that segment will continue to
slow in the first half of this year, but prospects had "perked
up a bit" in recent weeks, noted Soames.
The unit's results were hit by the cost of a new plant in
Mozambique and higher bad debt provisions, which it previously
flagged, highlighting some volatility in the asset rental
Rising demand for power in developing countries, where
supply remains hamstrung by a lack of financing and the time
required to install permanent capacity, has pushed up demand for
services provided by companies like Aggreko and market No.2 APR
($1 = 0.6643 British pounds)
(Reporting by Lorraine Turner; Editing by James Davey and Helen