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Wood Group Turns To Profit In H1; Reaches Deal To Sell Nuclear Business

Wood Group (John) PLC (WDGJF.PK,WG.L) reported strong margin improvement and profit growth in the first half led by activities in energy markets in the eastern hemisphere and the environment and infrastructure operations in North America, together with cost synergies. Revenue was in line with prior year. The Group's full year outlook is unchanged. Wood Group also announced the sale of its nuclear business.

For the first-half period, pretax profit was $62.2 million compared to a loss of $25.3 million, prior year. Profit per share in cents was 2.0 compared to a loss of 7.9. Profit before tax and exceptional items increased to $98.0 million from $82.0 million. Adjusted earnings per share declined 1.1 percent year-on-year to 18.2 cents.

First-half revenue declined to $4.79 billion from $4.92 billion, a year ago. The Group said its first-half revenue reflects relatively robust activity levels with growth in built environment activity in E&IS offset by lower revenues in ASEAAA and STS.

The Group has declared an interim dividend of 11.4 cents per share which will be paid on 26 September 2019 to shareholders on the register on 30 August 2019. This is an increase of 1% in line with its progressive dividend policy.

John Wood Group also reported the sale of its nuclear business to a subsidiary of Jacobs for a cash consideration of 250 million pounds. The Group will use the proceeds to reduce debt.

David Kemp, Wood's CFO, said: "The sale of our nuclear business follows other recent divestments and marks a significant step towards achieving Wood's target leverage policy."

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