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Bristow Sees Drop in Energy-Related Work, Might Cancel Some Helicopter Orders

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David Bierman

The world s largest operator of helicopters expects energy-related work to decline further and on Thursday said for the first time that it may cancel some orders for new aircraft.

Bristow Group Inc. BRS -25.78 % s Chief Executive Jonathan Baliff said continuing uncertainty had forced it to shelve plans to provide full-year profit guidance, as oil and gas companies cut back on exploration and production, reducing demand for helicopter flights.

Helicopter operators business is a leading indicator of activity in the energy industry, and Houston-based Bristow is one of two companies serving the global market ferrying workers to and from offshore energy platforms.

The other, CHC Group Ltd HELIQ 1.77 % , filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month.

Bristow derives three quarters of its revenue from the energy industry, and its revenue from that sector fell 29% in the fiscal fourth quarter to Mar.

Bristow plans to return some helicopters to lessors when leases expire and has been in talks with manufacturers to defer some deliveries, but Mr. Baliff said during a post-earnings call with analysts that cancellations were a possibility.

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David Bierman
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