Aberdeen company Hydrasun is planning its third acquisition in less than a year, it emerged yesterday.
The firm is also finalising plans for a new headquarters in the Granite City.
News on these developments came from chief executive Bob Drummond as he said Hydrasun’s pre-tax profits for the year to the end of last March jumped to nearly £4.7million, compared with £3.5million the year before.
Turnover was ahead by 23% to almost £53.3million.
Last September, Hydrasun acquired IFP Systems, of Rosyth, and earlier this week bought Aberdeen firm ATR Hydraulics.
Mr Drummond said a further potential acquisition in Scotland was being considered and a deal could be done by early summer.
Regarding a new HQ, the chief executive said its current premises had become too small and were split over two main sites in Aberdeen.
Mr Drummond said the past financial year had been a successful one for the group, with buoyant demand for its products and services.
Employee numbers have risen to 430, with almost three-quarters of them in the Granite City.
Hydrasun’s principal activities are providing fluid connectors, hoses, fittings and process-control instruments and related services. The industries it serves include oil and gas, petrochemicals, utilities, marine, defence and renewable energy.
The chief executive said internationalisation of the business and the development and marketing of specialist services and products complementary to the established core products were key parts of its growth strategy.
International sales rose by 37% to £14million in the past financial year, however, the UK North Sea continued to be the group’s largest single operating region.
Mr Drummond said Hydrasun had already secured further contract wins in its new financial year, including with oil majors. Last April, it was awarded a three-year deal by Shell to provide hose integrity-management services and associated product supply for all of its assets onshore and offshore in the UK and the Netherlands, worth up to £3million annually.
Then, in September, BP Azerbaijan extended Hydrasun’s contract to provide hose integrity-management services and associated product supply for all of its assets in the Caspian Sea region for a further four years. This contract is also worth up to £3million a year.
Over two years, Hydrasun have been working closely with the Royal Navy inspecting hoses on all surface ships in the fleet.
Further inspections are now being carried out on the Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships. The naval work is worth up to £1million a year.
The chief executive said the current financial year had got off to a good start, but there had been signs of a slowing down in existing and new business in the oil industry because of the lower oil price and the credit crunch.
“It will definitely be a better year financially for Hydrasun, but market conditions will be a bit tougher for everyone,” he added.