x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Oilrig maker Lamprell meets investors after tumultuous year

Lamprell, the troubled UAE oilrig maker, held its annual investor meeting in Dubai yesterday.

Lamprell, the UAE oilrig maker, held its annual investor meeting in Dubai's swanky Rolex Tower yesterday as it aims to turns itself around from a year of four profit warnings.

The company, which is listed in London, met at the offices of Clyde & Co on a UK bank holiday. Yesterday was Lamprell's first meeting with investors since it was fined by the British regulator for not advising investors soon enough of potential profit setbacks.

In March, the United Kingdom's Financial Services Authority cited "serious systems and controls failings" that stemmed from rapid growth as the reason for the £2.4 million (Dh13.3m) fine.

That same month the company brought in a new chief executive, James Moffat, to replace Nigel McCue, who stepped down in October after the fourth profit warning. It has also hired a new chief financial officer and replaced three directors.

This month Lamprell said it was in an "advanced stage" of restructuring its debt with key lenders and hoped to complete negotiations by the end of June. It was also optimistic about its order book of US$1.2 billion and order pipeline of $4bn.

"The performance in the year to date has been in line with management expectations and, after the events of the previous year, we have made an encouraging start to 2013," the company said in its last update.

Last year's profit warnings stemmed from a contract to build specialised vessels for installing offshore wind turbines, the company's first foray into the renewables sector.

"From an operating perspective, Lamprell is focusing on its core competencies and on maintaining high standards of safety and quality," it said in this month's update.

Its top shareholders from outside the company is Schroders, the British asset manager, with 11.98 per cent at the start of this year.

Rami Sidani, its fund manager in Dubai, declined to comment yesterday, citing company policy. Massachusetts Financial Services and Legg Mason, two American asset managers, are the next two top shareholders with about 5 per cent each.

 

ayee@thenational.ae