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Petrofac's revenues surge by a third

Final results for 2011 show good performance across its portfolio


The engineering and construction contractor Petrofac has posted a net profit of $539.4m for the year ended 31 December 2011, up from $433m in 2010.

Group revenue increased by 33.2 per cent to $5.8bn (2010: $4.35bn), due to strong growth in the onshore engineering and construction, offshore projects and operations, engineering and consulting services and integrated energy services segments.

Group operating profit was $679.3m, a growth of 26.2 per cent year on year, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 19.7 per cent to $759.4m (2010: $634.4m).

Fully diluted earnings per share increased to 157.13 cents per share in 2011 (2010: 126.09 cents).

Ayman Asfari, group CEO of Petrofac, said: “I am very pleased to present another excellent set of results. 2011 has been an important year for us, with good operational performance across our portfolio of projects, the rolling out of integrated energy services (IES) and positive initial progress in delivering our IES strategy.

“During the year, we also set out our medium-term target of more than doubling our recurring 2010 group earnings by 2015. The extensive pipeline of new bidding opportunities, our strong financial position together with our differentiated and competitive offering and proven track record in project execution increase our confidence in achieving that goal,” added Asfari.

As of 31 December 2011, the company had a net cash balance of $1.5bn, compared to $1bn in 2010.

"In 2012, we expect to make further progress towards this ambition, with net profit expected to grow by at least 15 per cent,” concluded Asfari.


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Labour tensions boil over at fractious MPs' meeting

Corbyn supporters and critics clash over fiscal charter U-turn and new group Momentum. 

"A total fucking shambles". That was the verdict of the usually emollient Ben Bradshaw as he left tonight's Parliamentary Labour Party meeting. His words were echoed by MPs from all wings of the party. "I've never seen anything like it," one shadow minister told me. In commitee room 14 of the House of Commons, tensions within the party - over the U-turn on George Osborne's fiscal charter and new Corbynite group Momentum - erupted. 

After a short speech by Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell sought to explain his decision to oppose Osborne's fiscal charter (having supported it just two weeks ago). He cited the change in global economic conditions and the refusal to allow Labour to table an amendment. McDonnell also vowed to assist colleagues in Scotland in challenging the SNP anti-austerity claims. But MPs were left unimpressed. "I don't think I've ever heard a weaker round of applause at the PLP than the one John McDonnell just got," one told me. MPs believe that McDonnell's U-turn was due to his failure to realise that the fiscal charter mandated an absolute budget surplus (leaving no room to borrow to invest), rather than merely a current budget surplus. "A huge joke" was how a furious John Mann described it. He and others were outraged by the lack of consultation over the move. "At 1:45pm he [McDonnell] said he was considering our position and would consult with the PLP and the shadow cabinet," one MP told me. "Then he announces it before 6pm PLP and tomorow's shadow cabinet." 

When former shadow cabinet minister Mary Creagh asked Corbyn about the new group Momentum, which some fear could be used as a vehicle to deselect critical MPs (receiving what was described as a weak response), Richard Burgon, one of the body's directors, offered a lengthy defence and was, one MP said, "just humiliated". He added: "It looked at one point like they weren't even going to let him finish. As the fractious exchanges were overheard by journalists outside, Emily Thornberry appealed to colleagues to stop texting hacks and keep their voices down (within earshot of all). 

After a calmer conference than most expected, tonight's meeting was evidence of how great the tensions within Labour remain. Veteran MPs described it as the worst PLP gathering for 30 years. The fear for all MPs is that they have the potential to get even worse. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.