Sales double to £109m at subsea firm

SUBSEA trenching and installation firm CTC Marine has had a record year with sales almost doubling to £109.2m and profits soaring to £10.2m.

SUBSEA trenching and installation firm CTC Marine has had a record year with sales almost doubling to £109.2m and profits soaring to £10.2m.

In a year which saw it bought by new American owners, Trico marine Services, for around £400m the Darlington firm has benefited from a decision to move away from its core geographical and product areas.

It recently opened an office Aberdeen and has offices in Singapore and Perth, Australia and as well as oil and gas, telecommunications and power it has recently won its first offshore wind turbine power cable-laying contract.

With a 20-plus strong fleet of cable-laying equipment, in which it has invested over £60m, it says it well placed for the future.

Managing director Daryl Lynch, who moved up from the position of finance director, last year, said: “Last year was a very good year and is a reflection on how the company has matured from, predominately being focused on the oil and gas sector in North East, into other sectors, workscope and geographical areas.”

CTC say its substantial investment in equipment sees it now “own and operate the largest, most technically advanced and comprehensive fleet of marine trenching equipment in the world”.

The company has three of its subsea vehicles currently operating in China, with others in Brazil, Australia and the Mediterranean, and, with an order book of £80m it has good visibility for future earnings.

Mr Lynch continued: “We are in a difficult market environment, which is more affected by the global financial crisis than the fluctuating price of oil.

“Some contracts are being pushed out to 2010 and 2011 and there is not the level of speculative investment we have previously seen in the oil industry.

“But the good thing for CTC is that we are no longer reliant on one sector and now have a wide geographical spread.”

CTC almost doubled its global workforce to 330 in the last year, with around 200 of these employed in the UK. This year it is taking on a record number of graduates bringing its total number of graduates to 30.

The company’s results for the calendar year 2008 which were recently published at Companies House show sales up from £56m to £109.2m and profits before tax up from £204,000 to £10.2m.

Mr Lynch added: “We are constantly looking to improve our performance and we have a significant workload.”

He is particularly pleased about its recent contract win in the offshore wind farm sector and now plans to secure more work in this sector.

CTC has been awarded a contract by E.ON Climate and Renewable UK to lay, install and bury 17 subsea power cables, which will link wind turbine foundations at the Robin Rigg offshore wind farm in the Solway Firth.

He added: “This contract shows CTC’s ability to apply our extensive subsea experience in the oil and gas industry to the offshore wind farm market and highlights the breadth of services and technology that CTC has to offer.”

CTC was established by Charles Tompkins and John Johnson in 1993.

In 2000 telecom company Alcatel took over the firm, but three years later the founders bought the company back.

In January last year the company was bought for £75m by Norwegian offshore group DeepOcean and in May 2008 DeepOcean was bought by Trico for about £400m.


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