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Gulf Marine Pays First Dividend as Demand Boosts Profit

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Gulf Marine Services, a provider of support vessels for offshore oil exploration, is to pay its first dividend after interim profit rose amid strong demand.

Net income rose 3 percent to $33.1 million in the six months to June 30, the Abu Dhabi-based company said in a statement. Sales climbed 5 percent to $90.7 million. The company announced a maiden interim dividend of 0.41 pence a share.

“Our outlook is robust,” Chief Executive Officer Duncan Anderson said by phone. The oil and gas industry in the Middle East and North Africa “is more buoyant than ever, resulting in a strong demand for our vessels.”

Gulf Marine operates support vessels used by the oil and gas industry, focused on the Middle East, North Africa and Northwest Europe. It raised 179 million pounds ($297 million) from a London initial public offering in March, when the shares priced at the bottom of the range.

The company plans to add six new jack-up rigs by 2016, increasing the size of its fleet of the vessels by two-thirds. Its new-build program is on schedule, with two new units being delivered in the first half of next year, according to the statement.

The shares were little changed at 154.75 pence in London.

Gulf Marine is seeking to expand to Southeast Asia and West Africa, focusing on Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon. It will work in a joint venture with Dialog Group in Malaysia.

(An earlier version of this story was corrected because it misstated the currency of the dividend.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Hirtenstein in London at ahirtenstein@bloomberg.net

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

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