Sector review

James Fisher's strategy is to grow its business organically by leveraging its existing marine skill base in specialist expertise to a global market, supplemented by selective bolt-on acquisitions. 

2017 annual financial information by division:

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Our Marine Support businesses provide products, services and solutions to the global marine industry. Our services are supplied to a range of end market sectors including marine, oil and gas, ports, construction and renewables.

Our principal businesses

Business Operations End markets Locations
Fendercare Marine products and services, ship-to-ship transfers, offshore terminal services  Marine, oil and gas, renewables, and defence UK, Singapore, Australia, UAE, Brazil, Nigeria, Ghana
JF Marine Services Integrated marine services, including remotely operated vehicle (ROV) systems and diving services Marine, oil and gas,renewables, tidal power and communications UK, France
JF Testing Services Products and services that measure and monitor structural stress, instrumentation and materials testing Marine, oil and gas, renewables, civil and construction UK, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia
JF Subsea Excavation Mass-flow excavation services Oil and gas and renewables UK, Mexico, Singapore
Subtech Marine and diving services Oil and gas, marine and construction South Africa, Mozambique, UAE, Namibia


Divisional performance:

Marine Support revenue was 16% higher in 2017 at £236.3m (2016: £203.6m). After adjusting for the beneficial impact of currency rates, the increase was 14%. Underlying operating profit increased by 17% to £24.5m due to strong performance at Fendercare, which initiated ship-to-ship (STS) transfer services in Brazil, good growth from Subtech in Africa and the Middle East, and further progress in the renewables sector. 

STS transfer services commenced in Brazil in January 2017 for two oil majors and built up to become a significant operation by the end of the year. This offset a slightly softer market in the Asia Pacific and West African regions but drove overall STS revenue growth of 16% in the year. Our fendering and marine products business also produced double digit revenue growth and increased its profitability. 

Revenue at Subtech, which is headquartered in Durban, South Africa, increased by over 50%, having established a presence in the Middle East and having landed significant subsea projects in Ghana, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to provide diving and cable laying services. 

James Fisher Marine Services successfully continued to provide its wide range of integrated marine services to the Galloper wind farm construction project. Rotos 360 has completed over 70 wind turbine blade repairs on ten wind farms since it was acquired in March 2017. At the Lynn and Inner Dowsing offshore wind farm, it completed a full turnkey repair project to repair 27 turbines in a contract worth £3.4m.

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Our Specialist Technical businesses supply diving equipment and services, submarine rescue vessels and through-life rescue services and engineering solutions to the international defence market and UK nuclear decommissioning market. The submarine rescue market is a small niche with a national navy either having its own capability or relying on other countries. Other subsea services provided to the defence sector include diving equipment and special operation swimmer delivery vessels. The Group also supplies saturation diving systems which are installed onto dive support vessels and support deep subsea diving activities. James Fisher Nuclear provides engineered solutions which operate in hazardous environments in the nuclear industry.

Our principal businesses

Business Operations End markets Locations
JFD Design, supply and servicing of diving and subsea equipment, submarine rescue and special operations services Defence, commercial and defence diving, hyperbaric and submarine rescue UK, Australia, Singapore, Sweden
JF Nuclear Engineered solutions in remote handling, non-destructive testing and calibration services Nuclear decommissioning UK


Divisional performance:

Revenue was 3% ahead of 2016 and underlying operating profit 6% ahead at £21.1m (2016: £19.9m). The market for UK nuclear decommissioning, which represents around one third of the division, continued to be challenging and resulted in marginally lower revenue, but this was offset by our specialist diving and submarine rescue business, JFD, which increased sales by 6%. 

JFD made good progress in the design, assembly and testing of two submarine rescue vessels, which are due for delivery to the Indian Navy during 2018. The first vessel was substantially complete at the end of 2017 and has subsequently achieved acceptance testing at our Inchinnan site near Glasgow, UK. Delivery is scheduled for March 2018 and the second vessel is due to be delivered in November 2018. 

JFD Australia supplied a Transfer Under Pressure unit and a hyperbaric equipment suite in support of the contract to manage submarine rescue operations for the Royal Australian Navy. The annual exercise to practice and prove established rescue procedures which took place off the coast of West Australia, was successfully completed in November. On 19 February 2018, the Group acquired Cowan Manufacturing Pty Limited, a business based in New South Wales, Australia, which designs and manufactures portable hyperbaric chambers primarily for the Royal Australian Navy and the wider international defence market. 

JFD also took part in a major international submarine rescue exercise, Dynamic Monarch 2017, which demonstrated the capabilities of the NATO partner nations’ (France, Norway and UK) submarine rescue system and provided training. Dynamic Monarch, which took place in Turkey, is one of the largest international submarine rescue exercises, which occurs every three years, and is designed to test international forces’ inter-operability and ability to respond to submarines that have become disabled, anywhere in the world. 

James Fisher Nuclear (JFN), our nuclear decommissioning business, achieved the design scheme completion milestone on the Winfrith core reactor decommissioning contract which commenced in 2016. On-site implementation is scheduled for 2018. In March, the first drone survey within Sellafield’s high security chemical separation area was completed, removing the need for scaffolding or special access vehicles saving both time and money. However the business faced a slower market for new projects in its main UK market.

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The Offshore Oil division supplies a range of services and equipment to the global oil and gas industry. This includes the design and engineering of specialist equipment, platform maintenance and modification, well testing support, subsea operations and maintenance services. James Fisher is also established as a world leader in artificial lift specialist completion technology and innovative accessory tools for electrical submersible pumps.

Our principal businesses

Business Operations End markets Locations
Scan Tech AS Design and engineering of specialist equipment, platform maintenance and modification, well testing support and subsea operations Oil and gas Norway
ScanTech Offshore Provides products and services to well testing companies Oil and gas UK, UAE, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia
RMSpumptools Artificial lift specialist completion technology and innovative accessory tools for electrical submersible pumps Oil and gas UK, UAE
Fisher Offshore Provides a range of lifting equipment and services to the marine, offshore and subsea industries Oil and gas UK, Malaysia


Divisional performance: 

As reported at the half year, Offshore Oil had a slow start to the year, but business improved in the summer months. However, this improvement was not maintained into the autumn.

Revenue was 2% higher at £56.4m but after adjusting for the impact of exchange rates, sales were 1% lower. In the second half of 2017, revenue at constant currency was 4% higher than the 2016 comparator. Underlying operating profit was £0.4m lower in 2017 at £3.8m (2016: £4.2m) but more than two times greater than the first half of the year.

Our Norwegian business, Scan Tech AS successfully completed the lifting package project for the Johan Sverdrup field which has contributed around £5.0m to revenue to date. RMSpumptools, our artificial lift company, had a steadily improving order book over the year and a strong finish to 2017.

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Our Tankships division operates a fleet of product tankers which trade along the UK and northern European coastline carrying petrol, diesel and kerosene. The division performs over 1,000 voyages each year carrying fuel from refineries and terminals to major coastal storage facilities. The division also operates a port in Plymouth, UK.

Our principal businesses

Business Operations End markets Locations
JF Everard Delivery of clean petroleum products around the European coastline Distribution of clean petroleum products UK
Cattedown Wharves Port operations Wet and dry product distribution UK


Divisional performance:

Tankships continued its recent track record of profitability and strong cash generation. On similar revenue, underlying operating profit was 7% ahead of 2016 at £8.8m (2016: £8.2m) and cash generation was once again very strong. 

The business, which distributes clean petroleum products around the northern European coastline, maintained high vessel utilisation and tight control of costs and continued its excellent track record of carrying out its operations to high standards of health and safety. In July and August, two of its vessels supported the sea trials of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK Navy’s largest aircraft carrier, by providing refuelling services in Invergordon, Scotland. The business responded quickly and pragmatically by deploying two vessels from the south Coast of the UK to support its customer.