An Aberdeenshire oil services firm, renewable energy and Indian submarines have all helped drive up profits at James Fisher and Sons.
The group, which owns a string of businesses in the north-east, said yesterday its offshore oil division grew operating profits and revenue by 42% to £5.1 million and 9% to £61.5m respectively during 2018.
This was mainly due to market share gains at RMSpumptools, Fisher’s Oldmeldrum-based artificial lift completion technology business, which increased its revenue by nearly half.
Fisher said there was “momentum” building in the offshore oil market, which it was ready to take advantage of.
The group’s marine support arm reported the strongest performance, partly driven by a 30% increase in revenue from renewable energy. Revenue across the whole division totalled £279.7m, up 18% on 2017.
Cumbria-based Fisher also has a tankships arm and specialist technical division, which works on defence contracts globally.
The group’s 2018 figures were boosted by a contract for two submarine rescue vessels for the Indian navy and a £30m order for South Korea’s navy.
Other north-east businesses owned by the group include the National Hyperbaric Centre (NHC) in Aberdeen, Oldmeldrum companies Fisher Offshore and ScanTech Offshore and JFD Global (UK), based at Westhill.
JFD includes the former Divex subsea equipment business, which Fisher acquired in 2013 for up to £33m.
In 2016, the group acquired Aberdeen-based visual asset management company Return To Scene from administrators in a £2m deal.
Fisher’s 2018 results revealed pre-tax profits of £55.4m, up £8.1m, or 17%, on the previous year on revenue that was up by 13% at £561.5m.
Group chief executive Nick Henry said: “James Fisher performed well in 2018 and, with a strong pipeline of opportunities at the start of 2019, the board has a high degree of confidence for the year ahead.
“The group operates across a number of sectors, with a broad geographical spread, which adds resilience in times of economic uncertainty.”
Mr Henry, who joined the group in February 2003 and was appointed CEO in December 2004, is due to step down before the end of 2019.
Chairman Malcolm Paul said Mr Henry would be leaving the group “in a strong position with a clearly defined strategy that has delivered double digit growth in underlying earnings and dividends”.