Energy service firm Cape said yesterday it was confident of maintaining its market share in the UK North Sea and would continue to develop opportunities in the Norwegian and Dutch sectors.
Revenue from Cape’s UK offshore operations fell by 15% to £97.6million last year, which the firm said mainly reflected the completion of an upgrade project for BG Group’s Armada field in the central North Sea.
Annual results showed overall UK earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (ebita) were up by 10.2% to £28million, contributing 32.6% of total group ebita.
Cape also revealed it was setting up a holding company, incorporated in Jersey and having its “tax residence” in Singapore.
It added: “The new holding company – to be called Cape plc – will have the same board and management team as the current Cape business, although increased time will be spent in Singapore.
Cape said the new structure was better for operational and financial management, and was in the best interest of the company and its shareholders.
The UK Exchequer is likely to lose out as Cape joins other firms in moving its tax base overseas.
The group had said previously it was switching from the Alternative Investment Market to London’s main exchange during the second quarter of 2011.
Yesterday, chairman Sean O’Connor revealed he was stepping down on May 1 to make way for former energy minister Tim Eggar.
Cape posted higher full-year profits and said business would pick up in the second half of 2011 as it expected to secure two large liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, one in Australia and the other in Papua New Guinea.
The company, which provides insulation services to LNG terminals, also said it had secured 63% of its 2011 revenue target of £705million. Adjusted pre-tax profits rose to £69.1million in 2010, from £60.7million a year earlier, on revenue that was down by 0.8% at £650.1million after lower-than-expected turnover in the Middle East and UK.