Babcock feeling bullish after boost in North Sea work

Babcock bought Avincis, parent of Aberdeen-based Bond Offshore, in 2014
Babcock Mission Critical Services Offshore has taken delivery of this new S-92 Sikorsky helicopter

A new aircraft, extra work in the North Sea and a return to the black have left the boss at Babcock’s helicopter division feeling bullish.

Babcock Mission Critical Services Offshore (Babcock MCSO) has just taken delivery of the latest addition to its Aberdeen-based fleet, a Sikorsky S-92.

The firm – part of engineering services company Babcock International Group – is also celebrating recently-won contracts from oil firms Taqa and Total for work in the North Sea.

And accounts lodged at Companies House show the business making profits again during the 12 months to March 31 2018.

The latest pre-tax figure came in at nearly £4.4million in the black, compared with a £1.2m plunge into the red in 2016-17 when trading was hurt by an industry-wide grounding of Super Puma helicopters after a string of accidents.

Revenue in the most recent period fell to £129.7m, from £132.7m previously, amid ongoing challenges in the oil and gas industry.

In the accounts, Babcock offshore aviation director Robert Dyas said core business activities faced “continued commercial pressures”.

But he added: “The directors are confident about the future trading prospects of the company due to its current long-term contracts with customers and market opportunities.”

Babcock MCSO has more than 20 operational aircraft, including S-92, H175, AW139 and AS365 helicopters, plus nine grounded Super Pumas currently under wraps in England.

Mr Dyas took over the helm late last year from Michelle Handforth, who is now chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board.