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Good times roll for services firms

OILFIELD-services sector profits and revenues are on the rise as companies seek to maximise oil and gas output while commodity prices are high. Schlumberger announced a 13% rise in net income compared with second-quarter 2007 to $1.42bn, while revenue was up by 19.7% to $6.75bn; both were higher than analysts' forecasts. Halliburton's net profit was down by 67% at $0.507bn, but the second-quarter 2007 figure of $1.53bn was inflated by a gain of $0.933bn from the spin-off of the company's KBR subsidiary, so the underlying trend remained positive. Income from continuing operations, at $0.623bn, met analysts' expectations, while a 20% rise in revenue to $4.48bn exceeded forecasts. Smaller oil

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