Hunting on target

Energy services group Hunting's businesses have generally performed well recently, but the group continues to face pesky competition in the short perforating gun market, while new regulations continue to slow sub-sea product deliveries despite having an increased sales backlog.

Energy services group Hunting's businesses have generally performed well recently, but the group continues to face pesky competition in the short perforating gun market, while new regulations continue to slow sub-sea product deliveries despite having an increased sales backlog.

In a statement covering trading since July 1st, Hunting said it remains confident of trading in line with its expectations for the 2012 full year results.

Well ConstructionThe Drilling Tools business has seen a marginal decline in trading as the industry moves activity toward the shale liquids regions across North America, but otherwise the division is enjoying plain sailing, with strong global demand and increased drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico boosting the premium connections businesses, while the has traded ahead of management's expectations during the period.

Well CompletionAs alluded to above, Hunting Titan has been feeling the hot breath of competition down the back of its neck in the short size perforating gun systems in recent months, as rival operators move from gas to liquids drilling targets.

Hunting's US Manufacturing business continues to report strong activity levels as momentum in the Gulf of Mexico builds.

Well InterventionAt Hunting's Stafford facility, the expansion project to double the size of its manufacturing capacity has been completed. Hunting Welltonic is expanding geographically into North America where demand for its Thru-Tubing products lines has been identified.

Financial positionCapital expenditure is forecast to be about £70m in the current year. The reduction to previous guidance is primarily due to slippage of expenditure into 2013. The group's net debt position as at October 31st was about £210m, up from £191.4m at the end of June.

JH

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