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UPDATE 1-SBM Offshore hikes profit guidance, starts work on wind project

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Nov 12 (Reuters) - Oil and gas services firm SBM Offshore raised its full-year core profit guidance on Thursday on the back of a 23% increase in nine-month revenue and said it had started work on a pilot floating offshore wind project in France.

The Dutch company, which supplies floating oil and gas production vessels, now expects 2020 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around $950 million, up from more than $900 million previously. It kept its forecast for revenue of around $2.3 billion.

SBM, which aims to increase the proportion of its revenue made from renewables and gas by 2030, also said it had started work on the engineering, procurement and construction of its first floating offshore wind project in France.

The learnings from this pilot project will enable the company to scale up for future projects, Chief Executive Officer Bruno Chabas said.

SBM reported revenues of $1.81 billion for the nine months to the end of September, helped by a higher contribution from its lease and operate division, which runs and leases the vessels later sold to customers after an initial lease period and relies on multi-year contracts.

The division benefited from a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, Liza Destiny, joining the fleet at the end of 2019 as well as last year’s acquisition of a minority partner’s ownership in Brazilian FPSOs.

Nine-month revenue from lease and operate rose 37%, while its turnkey division, which builds and sells floating production and storage vessels to oil and gas producers, saw a 5% decline. (Reporting by Charles Regnier and Juliette Portala ; editing by Jacqueline Wong and Mark Potter)

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