Walker investment helps Technip Umbilicals increase orders as operating profits hit £5.04m

The subsea umbilicals specialists, which operate a Tyneside base, said higher oil prices were spurring growth in the market

Jean-Louis Rostaing, Managing Director, Technip Umbilicals
Jean-Louis Rostaing, Managing Director, Technip Umbilicals

Operating profits have risen to £5.04m at subsea cabling specialists Technip Umbilicals thanks to increased activity in the North Sea.

The Tyneside-based subsidiary of the French engineering giant, which also operates bases in the US, Angola and Malaysia, saw operating profits increase 5.6% in 2013, thanks to demand for its products.

Consistently high oil prices has prompted a growth in market activity and demand for subsea umbilicals which has benefited the firm, which opened a highly advanced steel tube facility on Walker riverside earlier this year.

While turnover dipped slightly from £92.8m to £90.1m in the year ended December 31, it was the Tyneside facility which helped to increase order intake by 73% on 2012’s figures.

The firm said it plans to add further storage capability to the facility in order to cater for increased demand.

A strategic report, within Technip Umbilicals Limited’s latest accounts, said: “A consistently high oil price has resulted in market activity and demand for subsea umbilicals.

“This growth has been recognised in the continued exploitation of existing and marginal fields in traditional markets such as the North Sea and a significant increase in deep water developments in emerging markets such as Asia and Africa.

“Developments such as these continue to stretch the boundaries of umbilical technology in terms of product complexity, length and operating requirements and require investment in product development to achieve these demands.”

The business noted the impact of market demand on the price and availability of raw materials - pointing to new challenges arising in costs, engineering and manufacturing.

It was only earlier this year the firm changed its name from previous moniker of Duco, saying that its re-branding would both strengthen the company’s global market position and highlight Tyneside as a hub for subsea capabilities.

The company now employs 600 people at its sites at Walker, Newcastle, and the Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside.

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