NEW YORK Edgen Group Inc. expects the first half of this year to be sluggish amid continued soft bookings in its energy and infrastructure segment and pricing pressure on all products, particularly in its oil country tubular goods (OCTG) segment, according to chairman and chief executive officer Dan OLeary.
However, the distributor of steel pipe, valves, plate and other products for the energy and industrial markets still foresees a year of overall sales growth on a stronger second half, OLeary said in comments accompanying the Baton Rouge, La.-based companys fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 earnings results.
OCTG sales of between $800 million and $900 million are expected this year, while energy and infrastructure sales are forecast at $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion.
The company logged record sales of $2.06 billion in 2012, up 22.9 percent from $1.68 billion in 2011. But Edgen also recorded a greater net loss of $43.4 million vs. a net loss of $4.23 million the year prior, primarily due to a $71.7-million loss on prepayment of debt, it said.
OCTG sales for the year were $929.6 million, up 21.7 percent from 2011 levels, while energy and infrastructure sales rose 23.9 percent to $1.13 billion in the same comparison.
The company recorded a net loss of $44.1 million during the three months ended Dec. 31 vs. a loss of $275,000 a year earlier, on sales that rose 9.7 percent to $522.1 million.
The backlog for Edgens energy and infrastructure segment stood at $248 million as of Dec. 31, down significantly from $353 million in the same year-ago period, "as many of our customers chose to delay capital spending initiatives due to uncertainty in commodity prices, global consumer demand for energyparticularly in Europe and emerging marketsand fiscal cliff negotiations in the U.S.," the company said.