- Lamprell's total first half revenue fell to $159.2m - down from $451.3m a year ago - due to adverse market conditions, particularly in the new build jack-up rig sector and low levels of contract awards in 2016 and so far this year.

Gross profit decreased to $20.6m from $27.5m but the gross margin was 13.0%, an increase on the figure of 6.1% reported for the corresponding period last year, and in line with the 13.1% underlying margin before the impact of the Ensco settlement in 2016.

Lamprell said the gross margin in 1H 2017 was driven by the successful completion of the three new build jack-up rigs and the HMC Kaombo project.

These project completions offset the impact that the low revenue levels had on recovery of the Group's fixed cost base. It added: 'Further cost reduction measures, announced in March 2017, have led to a reduction in overheads as we continue to align the business with the market outlook.

'Our overheads in 1H have reduced accordingly by $14.5 million in line with our expectations.

'EBITDA, from continuing operations and including exceptional items for the period, was $13.5m (1H 2016: $10.0m).

'The group's EBITDA margin was 8.5% reflecting the stable gross margin and reduction in overhead.'

Chief executive Christopher McDonald said: "The business continues to deliver solid results broadly in line with our expectations despite the challenging market environment.

'Our balance sheet remains robust due to the combination of the efficiency measures we have taken over the past two years and our tight cost control measures.

'This places us in a good position to be cost competitive and maintain our discipline in bidding for new work. Lamprell continues to be well positioned with a strong balance sheet, and our strategy is designed to support near-term resilience and secure long-term sustainable growth.

'In particular, I am delighted that we secured an unprecedented opportunity to partner with Saudi Aramco, Bahri and Hyundai Heavy Industries to create a major new maritime yard in Saudi Arabia, establishing a significant long-term foothold in the largest and one of the most dynamic oil and gas markets.

'The project will further strengthen our position in the region and will provide exposure to significant new opportunities in a key market for the energy industry.'

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