Saipem slumped to a loss of €269 million ($291 million) in the first quarter after suffering a heavy impairment for its offshore drilling division, while the Italian contractor has cut capital expenditure amid adverse market conditions due to the coronavirus crisis.

The quarterly net loss, reversing a year-earlier profit of €21 million, came despite stable revenues of €2.17 billion that was roughly on a par with last year’s corresponding figure of €2.15 billion.

The result was impacted by a €257 million writedown of Saipem’s fleet of 11 offshore rigs on lower future earnings expectations amid swingeing cutbacks in exploration announced by oil companies in response to the pandemic and consequent low oil prices.