LONDON (Alliance News) - RPS Group PLC Thursday increased its interim dividend and said it remains focused on delivering a good set of full-year result, as it saw pretax profit rise a little in the half year to end June despite revenue declining slightly.
RPS provides consultancy and independent advice to the oil, gas and natural resources markets. It proposed an interim dividend of 4.05 pence, up 15% from 3.52 pence.
The company posted a pretax profit of GBP21.7 million, up from GBP21.1 million, as revenue edged lower to GBP279.4 million from GBP280.9 million, but this was offset by lower recharged expenses.
In its Energy division, RPS said fee revenue rose to GBP104.1 million from GBP87.8 million, as acquisitions it made in 2013 were integrated well, and it saw increasing demand from the financial services sector. In the second quarter, some clients began to tighten their expenditure due to instability in parts of the Middle East, RPS said.
The Canadian potash market remained subdued, it said, which also weighed on its performance.
In its Built and Natural Environment business, the company saw a good performance in Europe, boosted by its acquisition of Clear Environmental Consultants Ltd. RPS said its European business remains on track to achieve growth in the year.
In North America, fee revenue rose to GBP19.0 million from GBP15.7 million, helped by acquisitions. It expects its acquisition GaiaTech Inc to make an "important contribution" in the second half and coming years.
In its Australia and Asia Pacific business, fee revenue declined to GBP50.8 million from GBP65.9 million, as its mining and energy clients remained focused on operational efficiency, rather than spending money on project development. This led to projects being delayed or cancelled. Despite this, RPS said the shift of this business away from the resources sector had continued positively.
The Australia and Asia Pacific business performed better in the second quarter, and RPS expects this to continue into the second half.
Shares in RPS were trading down 2.1% at 256.30 pence Thursday morning.