Weir expects return to growth

Weir Group engineer Weir Group operates in the minerals, oil and gas and power and industrial markets

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Engineering firm Weir Group said it expected to return to growth after posting a drop in revenues and profits.

The company's revenues fell by 4% in 2013 to £2.4bn while pre-tax profits were down 5% to £418m.

Glasgow-based Weir had warned profits would be lower, blaming project delays in mining and a slower than forecast recovery in its oil and gas division.

However the company said, despite mixed conditions in 2014, it expected to return to underlying growth.

The firm sells pumps and valves for the mining and oil and gas industries and employs about 14,000 people in 70 countries.

Weir said it intended to capitalise on an increase in its oil and gas customers' upstream spending as it predicted a further decline in its core mining business.

Chief Executive of Weir, Keith Cochrane, said: "2013 was a challenging year in many of our end markets but our relative outperformance demonstrated the strength of the group's strategy, the diversity of our portfolio and the resilience of our aftermarket focussed business model."

He added: " We will continue to capture profitable aftermarket opportunities, cross-selling our full product portfolio across all our end markets and delivering further efficiencies."

Weir said its order book was already seeing a pick-up towards the end of last year.

Referendum

Asked about the referendum on Scottish independence, Mr Cochrane said: "At the Weir Group we've commissioned our own research following the Scottish government's White Paper.

"It will look at issues like currency, pensions, trade and taxation.

"All I will say now is that there are serious questions in these areas which need serious answers.

"We'll happily publish the details of our research when it is complete."

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