StockMarketWire.com - Engineering company Wood Group posted a first-half net loss, owing to falling revenue and a higher tax bill, though its operating profit improved due to lower writedowns.

Net losses for the six months through June amounted to $11.4 million, compared to year-on-year losses of $10.5 million. Pre-tax profit increased to $18.4 million, up from $0.9 million.

Revenue dropped 23% to $3.15 billion and operating profit before exceptional items fell 15% to $86 million.

Wood Group did not declare an interim dividend.

During the first half, it had seen good activity levels in built environment, relatively robust renewables activity and improving demand in conventional energy markets.

That all partly offset lower activity in process and chemicals, as larger projects reached completion.

'The first half of 2021 reflects improving momentum in activity in the second quarter and a strong margin improvement, with increased margins in all business units and a greater weighting of high-margin consulting activity,' the company said.

Looking forward, Wood said that trading momentum and good growth in its order book, which was up around 18% year-to-date, underpinned confidence in delivering a stronger second half.

It added the second half would reflect a 'return to growth' compared to both the first half 2021 and second half of 2020, and further growth in its full-year adjusted earnings margin. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com