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Sparrows Group hails renewables drive in ‘another year of stability and growth’

The Aberdeen-based crane engineering firm saw turnover surge to £189 million last year, from £148m in 2017.
The Aberdeen-based crane engineering firm saw turnover surge to £189 million last year, from £148m in 2017.

Sparrows Offshore Group has reported a boost for renewable energy in “another year of stability and growth”.

The Aberdeen-based crane engineering firm saw turnover surge to £189 million last year, from £148m in 2017, while underlying operating profits more than doubled to £10m – from £7.4m previously.

Sparrows, which supplies specialist equipment and integrated engineering services to the oil and gas, renewables and industrial sectors, said its “robust” figures were primarily the result of growth in its (Meicap) Middle East, India, Caspian and Asia Pacific operations, as well as in the US industrial sector and at renewables subsidiary Alpha Offshore.

Chief executive Stewart Mitchell said: “It has been another year of stability and growth for the business in one of the industry’s most transformative periods.

“We have continued to diversify into the renewables sector and made significant inroads into the industrial market in America, while maintaining a key position with our longstanding North Sea oil and gas clients.

“A key priority for Sparrows during 2018 was strengthening and extending our capabilities in the Middle East.”

He added: “We also saw the impact of a full year of trading from Alpha Offshore Services following its acquisition in December 2017.

The division had its most productive 12 months in which it completed a record number of offshore wind turbine inspections, up 56% on 2017.

“These combined factors have underpinned the resilience of our ongoing business strategy and, as a result, we are in the position of looking to increase our workforce by almost a fifth to support clients in the oil and gas, renewables and industrial sectors around the world.”

The group employs around 2,000 people onshore and offshore around the world, about half of them in Aberdeen.

It has taken on 250 extra workers this year – including 80 in Aberdeen – and is currently recruiting for technical roles at all levels, with dozens of jobs slated for the Granite City.

Increased finance costs drove a widening of pre-tax losses to £46m, from £19.2m last time.

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