Bloomberg News

STX OSV Offshore-Vessel Orders May Rebound on Oil, Financing

November 17, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in eighth paragraph.)

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- STX OSV Holdings Ltd., the world’s biggest maker of oil-rig support vessels, said orders may rebound next year as energy prices rise and credit markets improve.

“There is demand out there,” Chief Executive Officer Roy Reite said in an interview yesterday in Singapore. “If things normalize in the banking world, we think this demand will be filled.” He declined to give a forecast for contracts next year.

STX OSV expects to win deals for vessels used to move or supply oil rigs as Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other companies explore new oilfields after crude jumped about 30 percent in two years. The vessel-maker, based in Alesund, Norway, missed its orders expectations in the third quarter as the European sovereign debt crisis made it harder for customers to get loans, Reite said.

“Financing is holding back some potential orders,” he said. Still, “the fundamentals in the oil and gas business are strong -- there are huge amounts of capex that should be spent.”

STX OSV received orders worth 5.09 billion kroner ($883 million) for 14 vessels in the first nine months of the year. That compares with 12.6 billion kroner for the whole of 2010. It won 809 million kroner of orders in the third quarter, and has won two more confirmed contracts since then.

Petrobras Orders

The shipbuilder expects to firm orders for eight liquefied petroleum gas carriers from a unit of Petrobras, Brazil’s state- controlled oil company, as early as this week, it said.

The LPG vessels will be built at a planned yard in Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil. Construction of the yard, the company’s second in the state, will start this year. Shipbuilding will begin in the first half of 2013, Reite said.

The company rose 0.9 percent to S$1.13, the highest level since Nov. 2, at the close of trading in Singapore. The stock has fallen 0.9 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent decline in the Straits Times Index.

The company said that third-quarter net income more than doubled to 374 million kroner. Sales jumped 57 percent to 3.36 billion kroner.

Earnings in the fourth quarter will be “stronger,” said Chief Financial Officer Jan Ivar Nielsen. He didn’t elaborate. The stock has fallen 1.8 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent decline in the benchmark Straits Times Index.

STX Group of South Korea acquired the offshore-vessel builder through the takeover of Aker Yards ASA, which was completed in February 2009. It sold off a stake in an initial public offering about a year ago.

Aker, which also builds cruise ships, was subsequently renamed STX Europe ASA.

--Editors: Neil Denslow, David Risser

To contact the reporter on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net


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