Shares in rig maker Lamprell sink after profit warning

Shares in the offshore oil rig maker Lamprell more than halved in value yesterday as it issued a stark profits warning. It had been due to update the market today but had to rush out the warning when it discovered how serious matters were.

The shares collapsed 57 per cent, or 167.8p, to 127p. At the start of this month they stood at just over 360p.

Lamprell said it had had difficulties getting hold of key components to build jack-up rigs, used by explorers when searching for offshore oil and gas.

It also admitted that a number of major contracts were running late, and said the costs of building two vessels for erecting offshore windfarm turbines had come in higher than expected. The broker Investec slashed its profit forecast for this year from $117m (£73m) to $38.5m and said Lamprell would find it difficult to shake off its "accident prone" reputation.

Lamprell said it now expected to make a small loss in the first half with some recovery in the second. It said it had a substantial order pipeline worth $4.8bn.

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