Offshore wind and oil and gas decommissioning projects boosted first half profits at James Fisher and Sons.
The marine services company today (September 7) announced pre-tax profits of £8.1 million for the six months to June 30, up by 14.1% from £7.1m a year earlier.
End markets are still impacted by Covid-19 but the second quarter delivered a “marked improvement over Q1, the firm said.
Fisher also highlighted strengthening order books, particularly in decommissioning and offshore wind, following “high tender” contract wins during the first half.
New renewables projects for the group include work wind farm work at St Brieuc and Fecamp, off the French coast, and in the UK the Sofia development in the Dogger Bank.
The company said it had also seen increased usage of its “bubble curtains” technology, which uses compressed air to create a wall of bubbles around noisy subsea works, protecting local wildlife and reducing the environmental impact of such activity.
‘Growing momentum’ for decom work
Decommissioning activities supporting the safe and environmentally-friendly deconstruction of oil wells is also seeing “growing momentum in an area of growing global demand”, Fisher added.
First half revenue fell by 9.5% year-on-year, to £233.7m, with Fisher saying the Q1 performance was particularly affected by the return of the UK to a Covid-driven lockdown.
The group is expecting performance to improve during the second half of the year as end markets recover from the disruption caused by the effects of the global pandemic.
Chief executive Eoghan O’Lionaird said: “Looking beyond 2021, forward-looking order books in our long-cycle businesses are strengthening following high levels of tendering activity and contract wins year-to-date which gives the board confidence in the group’s future prospects.”
Cumbria-based Fisher is parent to a string of north-east firms. These include Oldmeldrum-headquartered RMSpumptools, Fisher Offshore and Scantech Offshore, Westhill-based JFD, and the National Hyperbaric Centre and R2S, both in Aberdeen.