KBC Advanced Technologies plc Pre-close Trading Update

KBC Advanced Technologies plc Pre-close Trading Update

In 2011 KBC delivered strong growth in consulting revenues and as a result our forecast for the year ended 31 December 2011 is broadly in line with our expectations, delivering over 20% profits growth in the period.

The largest single item contributing to the increase in consulting activity is the US$42m Profit Improvement Program with Pemex Refinación.  Work at all six sites is now under way and the project will continue at what is now the peak activity level until the third quarter of 2012.  A number of other projects are contributing to high utilisation.  These include Reliance Industries in India, Bashneft in Russia, Total in Europe and several gas projects in Australasia.  Despite the Arab Spring, the tsunami in Japan and the weak European refining market, we expect consulting revenue for the year as a whole to be the highest since 2008.  

The negotiation of several software license sales have extended into 2012 from the last quarter of 2011 and we therefore expect a healthy level of software sales in the first half of 2012. With the arbitration process now behind us, we look forward to being able to fully realise the potential of our software products and services across all of the markets that we serve in 2012 and beyond.

Following strong cash generation in the second half of the year, the Group's net cash position is expected to be around £5.5m at the year end, up from the £2.6m held at 30 June 2011. The comparable figure at 31 December 2010 was £4.5m. Our workload backlog at the year end is expected to be around £49m.

As we start 2012 their consulting resources are highly utilised in each of the three operating regions.  The refining industry is still in a state of transition, with markedly varying economic drivers in different parts of the world that have intensified in recent months, and should continue to provide consulting opportunities. Other markets in which they operate, such as petrochemicals and gas processing, remain stronger than refining and will also provide additional opportunities in 2012

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