Peterson Offshore Group said yesterday its Aberdeen-based UK businesses made a major contribution to a profits during 2016.
The international energy logistics group ended the year in the black despite punishing trading conditions in the oil and gas industry globally.
Group pre-tax profits tumbled to around £425,260, from £5.35million in 2015, while operating profits fell by 85% to £865,900 and net sales slid 16% to £161.2million.
But Peterson increased its headcount by 20% to more than 1,000 people during the year as it invested in future growth.
The company said there was strong demand for decommissioning services.
Its purpose-built facilities at Dales Voe and Greenhead Base in Shetland are currently handling the decommissioning of the 12,000tonne Buchan Alpha oil production vessel, while the Leman platform is being dismantled in Great Yarmouth.
Peterson has also made significant progress on a collaborative scheme, along with North Sea operators, to facilitate vessel and other resource sharing through a formal pool arrangement.
The company said it was eyeing “good opportunities internationally”, continuing a growth strategy which last year saw more than £2million invested in “exporting our logistics models to new territories”.
It added: “We expect to benefit from a good contribution from these in 2017.”
Chief executive Erwin Kooij said: “Peterson has delivered a positive performance in what continues to be a challenging time for the energy sector.
“We increased our investment in assets to £3.8million, including a new port crane, trucks and trailers in Aberdeen. In addition, we have our third harbour crane being built in Aberdeen this month.
“The group’s UK based companies, including Peterson UK Ltd, 80:20 Procurement Services, Peterson Freight Management, LS Customs, Core 29 and StreamBA, contributed much of the group’s operating profit.”
Peterson said North Sea revenue was down by 5% at £197million last year, with this and a fall in profits reflecting the “ongoing reduction in activity in the region and the impact of a tougher pricing environment in 2016”.
Mr Kooij said: “Despite these market conditions, we successfully retained existing contracts with CNR, BP, Eni, Siemens, NorthLink and Centrica, and were awarded new contracts with ConocoPhillips, Statoil, Technip, Chrysaor, Dong, Dana, and Ithaca.
“Developing our relationship built in the southern North Sea, we were awarded a five-year integrated logistics contract with Shell for the northern North Sea and now provide supply base and logistics operations support for all Shell’s North Sea assets.
“Peterson Group approaches its centenary in 2020 with a strong balance sheet.”
The group was established in 1920 as a family-owned inspection company for grain, which was traded and transported on the rivers and canals of the Netherlands.
Peterson now operates in more than 70 countries, employing around 4,000 people globally. It has 520 people in the Aberdeen area, up by 30% following recent contract wins.