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Boskalis first-half earnings, 2020 goal beat forecasts

(Reuters) - Dutch marine services provider Boskalis said on Thursday it expected its 2020 core profit to match last year’s result, offering a more optimistic outlook than market forecasts citing well-filled order books.

The dredging giant, which counts energy companies among its major clients, reported half-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at 204.1 million euros ($242 million), above 156 million euro expected in the company-provided consensus.

Better-than-expected earnings and outlook drove Boskalis shares 11% higher, making it a top performer among Amsterdam-listed stocks.

For the full year, the group, which operates in over 90 countries, forecast EBITDA in line with last year’s 375.8 million euros, ahead of the 337 million euro market forecast.

Boskalis said that a sharp drop in oil prices in the first half of the year weighed on its results, but the market has recovered to some extent thanks to production cuts.

“We still have a substantial order backlog for 2021-2022, so we are not completely negative about the oil outlook,” chief executive Peter Berdowski told reporters.

Boskalis also said its capital expenditure this year would “slightly exceed” its earlier 200 million euro target and that it would resume its share buyback programme it cancelled in April because of the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

($1 = 0.8445 euros)

($1 = 0.8431 euros)

Reporting by Maria Trybuś; Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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