Baker Hughes says energy downturn to bottom out by first half of 2021

(Reuters) – Baker Hughes Co on Thursday joined larger rival Halliburton Co to say the energy industry’s worst downturn in decades would be over by the first half of this year.

Oil and gas producers have been forced to cut their budget, restructure operations and reduce employees, to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic-led fallout in energy demand and prices.

“We believe this macro environment likely translates into a tepid investment environment for oil and gas during the first half of 2021”, said Baker Hughes Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Simonelli.

“However, we expect spending and activity levels to gain momentum through the year as the macro environment improves, likely setting up the industry for stronger growth in 2022.”

The company’s total revenue for the fourth quarter rose nearly 9% to $5.5 billion compared with the third. Analysts had expected revenue of $5.42 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Adjusted operating profit was $462 million, in the three months ended Dec. 31, higher than $234 million in the third quarter.

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