February 28, 2018 / 7:32 AM / in 8 months

Weir Group's profit beats as oil and gas business orders surge

(Reuters) - Weir Group Plc, a maker of pumps and valves for mining and energy industries, reported full-year operating profit above analysts’ expectations, helped by a 67 percent rise in its oil and gas business orders.

The company’s operating profit rose 36.4 percent to 292 million pounds for the year ended Dec. 31. Analysts on average had expected an operating profit of 273.68 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total orders rose about 20 percent, on a constant currency basis, to about 2.4 billion pounds, primarily helped by increasing activity in the North America oil and gas markets, Weir said.

Orders in the oil and gas business rose to 732 million pounds from 438 million pounds, with North America orders increasing 82 percent.

The company said it expects to see a strong increase in constant currency revenues and profits with mid-teens operating margins in 2018 in the business as oil companies, especially in North America, boost their spending.

Weir expect its minerals business to also deliver moderately higher constant currency revenues and slightly higher full-year operating margins as miners continue to spend more. Orders in the business rose 11 percent to 1.35 billion pounds in 2017.

The company said in October that it expected annual operating profit to be slightly lower than its previous estimate, due to higher costs and investments in the mining business.

Full-year revenue rose 27.7 percent to 2.36 billion pounds, also above analysts’ estimate of 2.31 billion pounds.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sunil Nair

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