Rig projects push Sembcorp Marine's Q4 net profit up 9% to $182.4 million

Fourth-quarter earnings at Sembcorp Marine (SembMarine) climbed 9.2 per cent from the year before to $182.4 million after it recognised more revenue from one of its drillships and other rig-building activities.

Revenue for the three months to Dec 31 last year soared more sharply in the period, by 22.8 per cent to $1.69 billion, it said on Monday.

But this was partially offset by lower takings from its offshore and conversion sector, which slid 5 per cent to $313.6 million.

Earnings per share for the quarter stood at 8.73 cents, up from eight cents a year ago.

Net asset value per share was $1.28 as at Dec 31, up from $1.17 the previous year.

It was the same story for SembMarine's full-year figures, as its net profit rose 3.2 per cent from a year ago to $555.7 million, on the back of a 24.7 per cent jump in revenue to $5.53 billion.

The bulk of SembMarine's business comes from its rig-building sector, which makes up 65 per cent of its total turnover last year.

SembMarine said in a statement that it had a net order book of $12.3 billion, with completion and deliveries stretching into 2019. This includes $4.2 billion in contract orders secured last year, which excludes those for repair services and upgrading works.

While the global economy remains fragile and uncertain, "demand remains strong for its big docks", including the new 73.3 ha shipyard in Tuas that started operations in August last year.

"The new yard will... enable the group to utilise its workforces and resources more effectively to achieve higher productivity and faster turnaround," it said in a statement.

SembMarine also announced a final cash dividend of six cents a share, and a special dividend of two cents a share, to give a total of eight cents per share.

It had earlier paid an interim dividend of five cents last August, bringing the full-year payout to 13 cents a share.

SembMarine shares closed up two cents at $4.09 on Monday before its results were released.

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