An Aberdeen-based remote operated vehicle (ROV) specialist has booked a £3.8million hit to its bottom line after its major customer Ceona went into administration last year.
As a result of the collapse of Ceona, a heavy subsea engineering contractor, Rovop made a pre-tax loss of £4.4million in the year ended 30 September 2015 compared to a £2.3million profit the year prior.
Nevertheless, turnover grew 12% to £17.2million in the period. And without the exceptional cost of the Ceona failure, the company’s earnings before interest, tax, appreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) remained flat at £5.3million.
Steven Gray, the company’s chief executive said the effect of the collapse of Ceona was “pretty painful” but said current trading was remaining solid despite the downturn affecting the global oil and gas market.
Last year also, the company raised £10million from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) which allowed it to refinance loans of £4.3million and add some working capital to expand its operations in Houston. Investors in the business also injected a further £2.1million equity and loan capital into Rovop following the Ceona collapse.
He said: “Last year we are relative to the year before in terms of revenue and staff. And this year will be similar to last year.
“Everything that happened to us last year with Ceona – we got our ROVs back and they are all out again. We are actually really busy.
“We provide a high quality service. It has not fundamentally changed anything for us. It slowed down our growth a bit but we are back. It is no great concern. Obviously the business is very well funded.
“We are doing what we have always done, focusing on really high quality service and providing high quality equipment and well trained people.
The market is very different but what we are doing is the same. It is not dramatically altered by a different market.”
Following the year end, and around the time Ceona collapsed, Rovop also renegotiated some of the hire purchase and lease finance on equipment with creditors. It won a 12 month capital repayment holiday, reducing the amount due in the year from £5.9million to just £387,000.
Ceona went into administration in September 2015 with the loss of 105 jobs, including 15 in Aberdeen.