SINGAPORE (Mar 5): Sembcorp Marine saw its earnings collapse in 2017, but this might not be the time for investors to run for cover. In fact, even after a sharp pullback this past week, its share price is up 13% since the beginning of this year, and some analysts say it could rise even further. Meanwhile, Sembcorp Industries has dismissed talk in the market that it is close to either divesting the offshore and marine company or taking it private.

“The best time to reinvest in the business is in the downcycle,” Neil McGregor, CEO of Sembcorp, said at a results briefing on Feb 23.

“But it takes a strong stomach to do that, and that’s why we’re supporting them right through the cycle.” For FY2017 ended Dec 31, SembMarine reported an 82% slump in earnings to $14 million, on a 33% decline in turnover to $2.39 billion. The huge drop in full-year earnings was largely due to a $33.8 million loss in 4Q2017, on turnover of $655 million, down 21%.

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