Saipem gives no guidance after missing expectations

The company posted a net loss in the fourth quarter of $146mln

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A staff member gestures on the Saipem 10000 deepwater drillship in Genoa's harbour, Italy, November 19, 2015.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A staff member gestures on the Saipem 10000 deepwater drillship in Genoa's harbour, Italy, November 19, 2015.

REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN - Italian energy services group Saipem said on Thursday it could not provide guidance for 2021 due to uncertainty caused by the health pandemic after missing expectations for the final quarter of last year.

The company posted a net loss in the fourth quarter of 120 million euros ($146 million), below a Refinitiv forecast for a loss of 52 million euros.

It swung to a net loss of 1.136 billion euros in 2020 after a series of writedowns, including drilling assets, from a 12 million euro profit a year earlier.

"The business outlook for 2021 will still be conditioned by the pandemic, especially in the first half," Saipem said, but added its adjusted core earnings this year would be in line with last year thanks to a sizeable order backlog.

It said it planned cost savings of about 30 million euros this year and investments of around 450 million euros.

Global lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic throttled demand for oil and gas last year, prompting oil majors to slash investment and defer projects to conserve cash.

Saipem, jointly controlled by oil major Eni and state lender CDP, said it was committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2035 regarding Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

A market leader in subsea exploration and construction, Saipem is looking to develop new lines of business to meet an increasing client focus on green technologies. ($1 = 0.8210 euros)

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((stephen.jewkes@thomsonreuters.com; +39.0266129695; Reuters Messaging: stephen.jewkes.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))