Weir Group falls as weak oil and gas markets hit first-quarter orders

Total orders were up 18% in the first quarter, but excluding the impact of the recently-acquired ESCO, underlying demand fell 7% due to a drop-off in orders from oil and gas companies

UK engineer Weir Group PLC (LON:WEIR) has repeated its full-year guidance after posting a sharp rise in first-quarter orders.

Orders from continuing operations jumped by 18% in the three months ended 31 March, but excluding ESCO, the excavator bucket maker it bought for £750mln last summer, orders actually fell 7%.

Weir, which makes pumping equipment for natural resources companies, said a 23% drop in orders from the oil and gas market was to blame for the fall.

“Weir has continued to deliver, with our first quarter performance in line with our expectations,” said chief executive Jon Stanton.

“ESCO’s performance remained ahead of initial expectations with good demand for its premium technology.

“As expected, oil and gas markets were at similar levels to late 2018 as a result of capital and pipeline capacity constraints in North America and the absence of the strong levels of first half refurbishment activity seen last year.”

Weir shares dropped 1.5% at the opening bell on Tuesday to 1,698p.

Source – Proactive Investors