Kentz Corp., an Irish oil and gas engineering company with clients including Exxon Mobil Corp., is seeking acquisitions after cash reserves increased.
“There is a strategy to acquire certain additional skills that we can offer to our clients,” Chief Financial Officer Edward Power said today in a phone interview. “We have a strong cash position that will help.”
Net cash increased 36 percent to $241 million in the first half, the Tipperary-based company said today in a statement. Kentz is bidding for $4.4 billion of projects within the next year after its portfolio backlog rose to $2.5 billion.
Kentz bought RNE Engineering and Projects (Pty) Ltd., a South African service company, for about $10 million last year. Mergers and acquisitions in the oil-field services industry will grow in the next two years, Ernst & Young LLP said yesterday.
Kentz advanced 5 percent to 400 pence by the close of London trading, the company’s biggest gain since June 19.
The margin on profit before tax rose to 7.3 percent from 5.9 percent a year earlier. Kentz sees an annual margin similar to analyst consensus of 6.3 percent to 6.5 percent, Power said.
It “turned out a little bit better than we had expected,” he said, adding the margin is set to drop in the second half.