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August 7, 2008

Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries see Q2 profit up 6.6%

Singapore conglomerate Sembcorp Industries saw a 6.6 percent rise in profit in the second quarter this year, boosted by its offshore oil rig-building business, reported Reuters on Wednesday.

Reuters said the company expects to maintain its 2007 profit after tax before exceptional items this year but warned that a challenging global environment may affect its business.

Sembcorp said its net profit rose to S$138.2 million ($100 million) in April-June, from S$129.6 million in the same period a year ago.

The bulk of profit came from 61 percent-owned rig-building arm Sembcorp Marine (SembMarine), which saw its second quarter net profit jump 51 percent to a record S$128.3 million from more orders and higher margins.

In comparison, rival Keppel Corp meanwhile posted a 16 percent rise in quarterly profit, weighed down by weakness at its property arm.

Soaring crude oil prices CLc1 have led to a jump in oil exploration in recent years, boosting profits of the Singapore rigbuilders.

Sembcorp’s shares are down about 23 percent so far this year, underperforming the 17 percent drop on the broader Straits Times index. Keppel Corp is down 16 percent.

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