By Anna Blackaby
Engineering firm Weir Group said it expected profit to be at the upper end of market estimates this year, helped by a strong global mining market.
The Glasgow company, which makes pumps and valves for moving minerals, oil and seawater, saw shares close up 23.5p at 941.5p.
Weir said in a trading update its financial performance in the 22 weeks to 30 May benefited from strong market conditions, particularly in global mining.
A better-than-expected recovery of the backlog position from its African Minerals operations boosted performance as well as lower US interest rates which helped reduced charges for its recent acquisitions.
The group said it expected profit from continuing operations before tax, intangibles amortisation and exceptional items for the full year to be “substantially ahead” of 2007.
Weir said the range of analysts’ forecasts for continuing operations profit before tax, intangibles amortisation and exceptional items was £142.5 million to £163.7 million with a consensus of £153.3 million.
Over 12 months, the group’s shares have outperformed the London-listed engineering sector by around 28 per cent.
Weir also said on Monday it was reorganising its business to reflect the group’s increasing focus on the mining, oil and gas and power and industrial markets.
The company has restructured its operations into three divisions – Oil & Gas, Power & Industrial and Minerals – reflecting the new sector focus.
Weir posted a 56 per cent hike in underlying 2007 pretax profit in March, when it said it had the flexibility necessary to fund organic growth and pursue further acquisitions this year.
The engineering firm, which employs around 9,000 people worldwide, last year acquired SPM, a Texas-based supplier of pumps and flow equipment for the oil and gas market in a £328 million deal.
The group is due to announce its 2008 half year results on 12 August.