Sembcorp Marine (Sembmarine) has reported a 4 percent year-over-year increase in net profit from $244 million to $254 million for the six months ended 30 June 2014, amid what it called still challenging market conditions.

Gross group revenue for the first half of 2014 grew 23 percent to $2.68 billion, which compares with $2.17 billion for the corresponding period in 2013. The higher revenue came mainly from increased contribution from rig building activities and from offshore platform projects.

In 1H 2014, EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax and depreciation) increased by 6 percent to $359 million, while operating profit grew 5 percent to $303 million, from $290 million in the previous corresponding period. This was despite a decline in other operating income to $16.6 million.

At the pre-tax level, group profit of $321 million was 5 percent higher than the $305 million achieved in the first half of last year. Associate and joint venture income increased 55 percent to $17.5 million.

Turnover for the rig building sector increased 36 percent from $1,226 million to $1,670 million. The group delivered six jack-up rigs in the first half, with another eight in the work in progress stage.

The fixed platform segment registered a 30 percent increase in revenue from $413 million to $535 million in 1H 2014, with two major project deliveries in 2Q 2014.

Offshore and conversion revenue declined 40 percent from $206 million in 1H 2013 to $123 million in 1H2014, with just one project delivery during the period.

Ship repair revenue was 2 percent lower at $307 million in 1H 2014 compared with $314 million in the corresponding period in 2013 due to timing in recognition of repair projects.

Sembmarine has a net order book of $12.7 billion with completion and deliveries stretching into 2019. This includes a total of $2.5 billion in new rig and offshore conversion contracts secured since the start of 2014, but excludes repair and upgrade contracts.

The company said it also continues to see an increase in its market share for ship repair. However, despite the larger number of vessels, the average revenue per ship remains low in view of market conditions.

Its four new dry docks at Sembmarine Integrated Yard have full utilization for vessels undergoing repair, upgrades & conversion or building.