June 5, 2012 / 9:28 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Major Drilling profit triples, demand strong

* Q4 EPS C$0.39 v EPS C$0.13 in year-before period

* Revenue up 73 percent at C$237.2 million

* Demand for drilling strong from senior mining companies

* Problems at junior miners could slow short-term growth

June 5 (Reuters) - Profit at Major Drilling Group International Inc tripled in its fiscal fourth quarter due to continued strong demand from mining projects around the world, the mine-drilling company said on Tuesday.

The company’s profit rose to C$30.7 million ($29.5 million), or 39 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended April 30. That compared with C$9.5 million, or 13 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before period.

Revenues rose 73 percent to a record C$237.2 million in the quarter. Revenues from Canadian and U.S. operations more than doubled, and Latin America and other regions also saw strong growth.

“Looking forward, the demand for drilling services from the senior mining houses continues to be strong,” Chief Executive Francis McGuire said in a statement, adding that demand for specialized drilling is rising in Latin America and Africa.

McGuire noted, however, that junior mining companies are becoming more cautious due to tough financial markets.

“While financing difficulties for junior mining ventures will moderate our growth over the short term, it also provides a strong upside potential when their exploration activities pick up,” he said.

Moncton, New Brunswick-based Major Drilling is one of the world’s largest metals and minerals contract drilling service companies. The company said it could add up to 75 rigs to its fleet over the coming year, based on current customer plans.

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