Chairman’s Review 2012
Despite adverse global macroeconomic factors continuing to drive uncertainty across key markets, WorleyParsons has delivered another pleasing performance. The company’s global expansion continues apace; we now have more than 40,800 employees across the group, an increase of more than 5,700 people over the past year.
Our growth during the year was underpinned by strong capital spending by major global customers and strengthening of our global relationships with these customers. The ever growing demand for energy is driving the unconventional oil and gas sector, where we have seen strong growth in oil sands, shale gas and coal seam methane, in Canada, the USA and Australia.
Developing markets were also a significant driver of growth as large global clients continue to invest in projects in countries where the bulk of the world’s undeveloped resources lie. We have established a strong foothold in the markets we already service and have entered a number of new markets through the transfer of our proven capabilities and practices.
Activity in the chemicals sector has increased. Lower gas prices have sparked resurgence in gas monetisation and petrochemical projects in the USA, while our involvement in specialty chemical projects in China and Asia continues to increase. Across many of our developed markets, we have seen an increase in asset restoration and enhancement projects driven in part by tighter regulatory regimes.
The Group reported underlying net profit after tax of $346 million, up 16% on our FY2011 result. In the current market environment, this is a strong validation of the Group’s strategy. It is also pleasing to note that the Group’s cash flow position improved significantly in the second half of the year. Margin performance was however disappointing.