STOCKTON-BASED Aker Solutions says it is close to signing major new contracts in an improving marketplace giving it new optimism for 2010.
The engineering giant said both the energy and nuclear markets looked set to grow – with the company hoping to secure work in both areas in the near future.
The Stockton-based team, which employs 600 staff, is also currently recruiting another 50 to be based at its Teesside and Warrington offices.
“Business has started to pick up,” said Dave Ley, managing director of Aker Solutions’ E&C business.
“I’m very optimistic about next year. We expect to go into 2010 with about 68% of our orders for the year already secured, which is healthy. We also hope to recruit more staff next year.”
The company recently secured the contract to take forward the development of a £200m power station on Teesside.
Aker Solutions is now working to develop Gaia Power’s plans for a 50MW biomass power station at Billingham.
The Stockton team – which also has offices in Whitehaven and South Africa – works in the five key areas of nuclear, metals, water, process and energy
“Markets are tougher out there,” said Mr Ley, “but we believe Stockton is riding the recession reasonably well.
“Work in the water sector is steady and while metals are down and process is the hardest-hit sector, we are continuing to hold our own.”
The Teesside update came as the Aker Solutions group revealed its third quarter results. Group revenues fell by 6.9% to £1.36bn during the period with Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) falling 12.4% from last year to £109.4m.
But during the period the company booked almost £1bn in new orders, adding to its healthy order backlog of £6.1bn.