Saipem’s revenues for the first half of the year were nearly 20% below the same period last year, although the company’s management is expecting a significant improvement in the second half.

The Italian-based oil and gas contractor has reported revenues of €5,186 million for the first half of 2013, a decrease of 18.9% on the first half last year.

A net loss of €685 million was recorded for the second quarter this year, with the first half loss amounting to €575 million.

New contracts for the first half of 2013 were up 13% to €7,151 million, and Saipem said its backlog at June 30, 2013, stood at €21,704 million, up 10% from the €19,739 million at the end of December, 2012.

Saipem, of which Eni is a major shareholder, said it expected to achieve revenues of around €13 billion for the full year of 2013, with EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) breaking even, and a net loss of around €300 to €350 million.

It added that despite general uncertainty in the timing of contract awards by the oil companies, results were expected to improve significantly in the second half of the year owing to a positive trend in the first half of 2013, of more selective contract acquisitions, and strong results achieved by its Drilling Business Unit.

The company’s management expects net debt at the end of 2013 to be approximately €5 billion, even though it said it was difficult to predict the trend in working capital, as it was dependent on client negotiations, the full-scale operation of projects with a penalising financial profile, and the ongoing corruption investigations in Algeria.

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