Keppel Corp’s Choo wary of rivals despite record results


Singapore: With characteristic understatement Keppel Corp’s ceo Choo Chiau Beng described his company’s record results as merely “creditable”. Perhaps it was the disappointing final quarter, or the growing competition from overseasf, that led to Choo’s circumspect tone. Net profit in the final quarter fell 22% year-on-year to $305m, and Choo noted in his statement that "keen rivalry from Chinese and Korean yards have suppressed prices and squeezed margins on newbuilds". Recent analyst reports from Korea suggest Chinese yards are undercutting Singapore yards for rig orders by around 20%.
Keppel, the world's biggest rig builder by orderbook, received S$10bn worth of new orders last year. Its orderbook, as of December 31, stood at S$12.8bn, ensuring it will remain busy through till 2019, arguably the longest orderbook of a shipbuilding major in the world.
Net profit grew by 28% to a high of S$1.9bn ensuring a record dividend of 72.4 cents per share. 
"Stable Brent crude prices of above US$100 a barrel continue to support industry capex for sizeable discoveries in Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, Brazil and Africa. Scaling new frontiers requires highly advanced solutions; therefore, we expect global exploration and production spending to rise further," Choo anticipated.  [25/01/13]
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