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CTC Marine Benefits from Strong Market in Oil and Gas

13 January 2011

The ongoing strength of the subsea oil and gas sector has seen revenues continue to soar at North East company CTC Marine, as it maintains its shift of focus away from North Sea operations.

Results published yesterday show revenues for 2009 rose by 33% to £147m. This followed a near doubling of sales to £109m in the previous year.

Operating profits remained broadly in line with the previous year, although the company reported a pre-tax loss of £5m due to a number of factors, including exchange rate fluctuations and losses following the administration of a customer.

CTC, which also has offices in Aberdeen, Dubai, Australia, and Singapore, operates a 20-plus strong fleet of some of the most technologically advanced subsea trenching machines in the world.

Its trenchers and vessels are hired to telecommunications, power and oil exploration companies. Clients include blue-chip groups such as BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Statoil.

The directors’ report which accompanies its annual results said: “The results show an increased turnover in a year of difficult market conditions where, due to the decline in the oil and gas industry in the North Sea, the company has successfully continued to diversify into other sectors and geographical locations.

“Due to its unique marine trenching and installation capabilities, market position and global market demands for construction of offshore oil and gas, power and wind, the company anticipates further growth and suc- cess in the forthcoming year and beyond.”

CTC opened its Dubai office last year and says it currently has a £43m order book. It employs over 150 staff.

Last year saw its diversification into renewable energy continue, with the securing of a £7m contract for the Wave Hub pilot off the coast of Cornwall. CTC hopes this will lead to further work in the emerging tidal power sector.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 2007, the company was bought for £75m by Norwegian offshore group DeepOcean and, in 2008, it was bought by American oil multinational Trico Marine Services Trico for about £400m. CTC managing director Daryl Lynch, who had been in the post for less than two years, resigned in October of last year.

George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF Energy, the North East-based body representing companies in the UK energy sector, said: “As the UK works towards achieving a balanced energy mix, the opportunities for the sector are growing at pace.

“Our members are telling us they believe the worst of the economic uncertainty is over, which is reflected in the 64% increase in sales they achieved in 2010 alongside plans to expand their workforces.

“The energy sector supply chain is bullish about the future and is confident they will prosper.

“With new offshore renewable energy projects coming online, the continued use of new and existing hydrocarbon reserves and future opportunities from the nuclear new-build programme, we are on course for another positive period for the sector.”