Keppel Profit Drops as Oil Price Slump Delays Offshore Projects

Keppel Corp., the world’s largest builder of oil rigs, reported a 41 percent decline in first-quarter profit as weak oil prices led to delivery delays of offshore projects.

Net income dropped to S$211 million ($156 million) from S$360 million a year earlier, Keppel said in a statement Monday. Sales slumped 38 percent to S$1.7 billion from S$2.8 billion. The higher contribution from its property business at 47% helped to partially offset lower profits from offshore and marine sectors, the company said in the statement.

Oil companies and rig operators face rising debt and spending cuts, and have abandoned orders or asked shipyards to delay deliveries of offshore drilling rigs and production facilities. That’s caused shipyards to post losses or smaller profits after writing off costs from projects under construction, and demand has fallen with crude prices still less than half of what they were three years ago.

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