(MENAFN) Swiss driller Noble Corp. reported a slight increase in quarterly profit, as several offshore drilling rigs remained idle for too many days, AP reported.
The company said it made USD128 million net profit during the fourth quarter 2012, up from USD127 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 29 percent to USD966 million.
Chairman and CEO David W. Williams said that the results showed "inconsistent operating performance" as Noble went through the "transformation" of upgrading its fleet of drilling rigs to take advantage of worldwide demand for oil.
He added that demand from oil and gas companies for the rigs continued to be strong and the business "appears poised for another year of cyclical expansion."
The company said that operations on five drilling ships were not as good as hoped. The five rigs, three were new in 2012 and two had undergone significant work before being put back into service.
Operating costs and expenses jumped 27 percent from a year earlier.
Nobel has a fleet of 79 rigs that operate in the Gulf, Alaska, the North Sea and off the coasts of Brazil, West Africa and other places.