Sembcorp Marine posts quarterly loss of $33.8 million

Singapore's Sembcorp Marine swung to a quarterly loss as a glut in drilling rigs choked demand and said it did not see any immediate recovery for rig-building orders.

Net loss came in at S$33.8 million for the three months ended December, compared with a profit of S$34.3 million a year ago, said the rig builder, adding that its revenue plunged 21 per cent, Reuters reported.

The company's full-year net profit slumped 82 per cent to S$14.1 million.

Analysts expected Sembcorp to report a net income of S$70.6 million for the full year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Sembcorp Marine also confirmed yesterday that Brazilian authorities have charged a man over alleged illegal payments linked to drillship contracts won by the company's units.

President and chief executive Wong Weng Sun said that Mr Guilherme Esteves de Jesus has been charged with various offences connected to these contracts, The Straits Times reported.

In a March 2015 disclosure that came after Mr de Jesus's arrest, SembMarine described the man as "connected to companies" engaged by the yard group's subsidiaries. These companies served as consultants to the Sete Brasil drillship contracts awarded to the subsidiaries.

Mr Wong said Mr de Jesus is defending the charges, adding that the company is not aware of any of its employees being implicated by any authorities, The Straits Times reported.

SembMarine has initiated an internal investigation over the allegations raised in the March 2015 disclosure, but this is ongoing, he added.

SembMarine's US$5.5 billion worth of drillship contracts with Sete Brasil have come under renewed spotlight after Keppel Offshore & Marine announced about US$422 million in fines for corrupt payments made to win contracts in Brazil.