Oil rig maker Lamprell upgrades full-year earnings forecast

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil rig maker Lamprell upgraded its full-year earnings forecast on Monday after delivering four major projects in the first half of 2014 ahead of budget.

The group, which raised about $120 million (70 million pounds) in May to boost its productivity after returning to profit last year, said it had enjoyed a strong operational and financial performance since the start of 2014 with the delivery of four major projects in the first six months.

The projects all came in ahead of budgeted margins, while an improvement in productivity resulted in further savings. Shares in the group were up 3 percent in early trading.

"The company now expects earnings for the year as a whole to be ahead of expectations although this will be heavily weightedtowards the first half of the year," it said.

"Our bid pipeline remains strong and we remain focused on the conversion of our pipeline of opportunities into further contract wins."

Lamprell had said in March it expected revenue to fall slightly over the next two years as it focused on winning new orders after a disastrous 2012 riddled by profit warnings and senior staff changes.

Analysts had been expecting 2014 core earnings of around $84 million, according to a Reuters poll.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Karolin Schaps)