Former CBI boss Lord Jones said yesterday only hard work could rescue the UK from economic decline.
Putting in “the grunt” would save Britain from falling apart and business alone was the saviour and not just part of the solution, he added.
Lord Jones, who was director general of the CBI for 6
Viking carries out engineering services, including mooring analysis and modelling for rig locations and moves, but is diversifying into broader asset-management work.
Lord Jones said: “Our country has declined to such a state that it is in serious need of fixing.
“We don’t celebrate what we’re good at, we merely look inward and criticise all the time.”
He hailed Viking and other north-east companies as shining examples of entrepreneurship and hard work; a view backed up by recent research by accountancy network UHY Hacker Young showing Aberdeen was the only major city in the UK to grow its economy during the recession.
Lord Jones said: “If it wasn’t for wealth creation by UK plc, large and small businesses alike, then there would be nothing to spend on schools, hospitals, police officers, soldiers, nurses and teachers. Only business generates taxation.”
Viking, which employs 130 people, including about 40 in Aberdeen, turned over £60million in 2011 and is looking to grow the business by 15% to 20% annually in the coming years. It has operations in Aberdeen and Stavanger – its biggest market area – in addition to Singapore and Australia.
The company, based at Altens previously, was founded in 1985 as a sub-division – Balmoral Marine – of the Aberdeen-based Balmoral Group.
Chief executive Bill Bayliss, who joined the firm in September, said the official opening of its new west-end offices heralded an exciting new chapter for the business.
He added: “We will maximise the opportunities created in the restructured business to strengthen our global position in the oil and gas market.”