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Kentz Seeks Colombia Oil Contracts, Further Canada Expansion

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March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Kentz Corp., an Irish oil and gas engineering company, plans to expand into Colombia while also seeking further growth opportunities in Canada.

“I’d watch the Colombian environment,” Chief Executive Officer Christian Brown said today on a conference call with analysts. “We’ve seen more opportunities in Colombia.”

Colombia has raised oil output 80 percent since 2008 as army victories over guerrillas has opened up swathes of the countryside to investment. Kentz said this month it won a contract from Imperial Oil Ltd. for an oil-sands project in Alberta, Canada, that will run until 2016. The Dominican Republic is another area of focus, the CEO said.

Net income climbed to $69.7 million in 2012 from $58.9 million a year earlier, the Tipperary-based company said today in a statement. Its order backlog also expanded 6.9 percent to $2.57 billion by the end of 2012 and stood at $2.73 billion at the end of last month, it said. The company increased its full-year dividend by 18 percent to 14.5 cents a share.

The results “underline a period of exceptional growth in revenue and earnings,” according to a note by Investec Plc, which has a buy recommendation on the stock.

Kentz rose 2.2 percent to 424 pence by the close in London, valuing the company at 499 million pounds ($757 million).

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at nbakhsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net