ENGINEERING and project management firm Amec - which employs more than 500 across sites in Darlington and Wynyard, - saw a 27% leap in profits to £258.2 million last year and said it expects continued growth in 2011, with profit margins maintained at around 9%.
Chief Executive Samir Brikho said: “AMEC made excellent progress in 2010, delivering a record 9.2 per cent EBITA margin and achieving good organic growth in each of our three divisions.
“The need for increased industry investment across our core markets supports our future growth, regardless of the pace of economic recovery.
“We are well positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for natural resources, power and water, and remain very confident about achieving our targeted earnings per share of greater than 100 pence in 2015.
“The pipeline of potential acquisitions has strengthened. In 2011 we expect continued growth resulting from our customer focus; with margins maintained at around the nine per cent mark.”
Amec is working on Vision 2015, a large-scale strategic change project which Mr Brikho says is key to the company’s future direction.
“2010 has been a great year for us. What we have been working on, or what Vision 2015 is about, is about people. It’s about customers and it’s about how are we able to get the growth which we are looking for,” he said.
“In terms of customers, we have been able to continue having a good relationship with existing customers. And we have been also able to build on new ones.
“We have continued to invest in our people. And also, we have been enhancing our capabilities, whether through organic growth or through acquisitions.
“We have been improving our capabilities, like in sub-sea activities, in mining activities, and also in water capabilities, the latter through our acquisition of Entec Holdings in the UK.
“But also we have been improving our geographic footprint. Four of the last six acquisitions were in Australia. Australasia is a key market for us. It’s one of the three key markets which we have identified.
“So all that gives us a very good base for the growth which we are looking for.”
Neil Bruce, Chief Operating Officer, said the revenue growth of almost £3bn had been spread across all sectors.
“I’m incredibly proud about the growth that we’ve achieved, the 16%. Eight per cent of that is organic growth, and the key piece in all of this is that we’ve got organic growth in all three divisions.
“This is about doing work for existing and new customers, the work that we’ve done for BP, EDF, Shell, Exxon, as existing customers. But also new customers that we’ve brought in, in terms of the work that we’re doing for Maersk, for Origin and a number of other new customers that we’ve added to the portfolio,” he said.
Last year Amec’s Darlington operation clinched a £60m gas storage contract.
It was awarded the contract by EDF Energy to extend a gas storage facility in Cheshire.
Led by the Darlington office, the project is planned for completion in July 2012. The contract, at the Hill Top Farm facility at Warmingham, will see Amec design, install and commission the filtration and compression facilities, after-cooling, de-hydration, metering and utility equipment.