Record full-year profit and dividends for Keppel Corp

WEAKER margins from its key offshore and marine business led to a 22 per cent slump in fourth-quarter earnings for Keppel Corp, even as it unveiled record full-year dividends.

The world's largest oil rig maker announced this evening that net profit for the three months ended Dec 31 fell 22 per cent to $305 million. The profit just about trumped the average forecast of $301 million from a Reuters poll of five analysts.

Quarterly revenue rose 7 per cent to $3 billion.

The group saw strong growth as its full-year net profit rose 28 per cent to a record of $1.9 billion. Full-year revenue surged 38.5 per cent to $14 billion.

Keppel Corp chief executive Choo Chiau Beng said: "2013 is expected to be an extension of previous years, laden with uncertainties and potential risks. However, in navigating such an environment, there will also be opportunities ripe for acquisitions."

It has proposed a record full-year dividend amounting to 72.4 cents a share. This comprises the interim dividend of 18 cents already paid, a final dividend of 27 cents per share, and a dividend in specie of Keppel Reit units equivalent to 27.4 cents.

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