30 August 2017

James Fisher and Sons plc half year results 2017

James Fisher and Sons plc (FSJ.L) ("James Fisher" or "the Group"), the leading marine service provider, announces its results for the six months ended 30 June 2017.

Highlights:

  • Revenue up 13% at £235.8m (2016: £209.3m)
  • Underlying operating profit 7% higher at £21.3m (2016: £19.9m)
  • Strong profit growth in Specialist Technical
  • Underlying diluted earnings per share up 2% to 30.1p (2016: 29.4p) per share
  • Interim dividend raised by 10% to 9.4p per share

Commenting on the results, Nick Henry, Chief Executive Officer said:

"James Fisher had a positive start to the year with revenue increasing by 13% to £235.8m and underlying operating profit by 7%.

"The phasing of renewables projects within Marine Support combined with a degree of recovery in maintenance activity in the oil and gas sector indicates stronger growth for the Group in the second half leading to a good improvement in the result for the year."

James Fisher's half year results H1 2017 H1 2016 % change
Group revenue £235.8m £209.3m +13%
Underlying operating profit* £21.3m £19.9m +7%
Underlying profit before tax* £18.6m £17.5m +6%
Underlying diluted earnings per share* 30.1p 29.4p +2%
Interim dividend per share 9.40p 8.55p +10%
Statutory profit before tax £17.6m £17.4m +1%

* Underlying profit excludes separately disclosed items.

Chairman's Statement

Half Year Results for the six months ended 30 June 2017

Results

I am pleased to report that James Fisher had a positive start to the year with revenue in the first half increasing by 13% to £235.8m (2016: £209.3m) and underlying profit before tax by 6% to £18.6m (2016: £17.5m) compared with the same period last year.

Three of our divisions continued to trade well, with Marine Support and Tankships profits at similar levels to last year and Specialist Technical significantly ahead. Offshore Oil reported similar revenue but reduced profits after a slow start in the first four months of the year reduced utilisation levels. Trading in May and June in this division gives grounds for some optimism for an improved second half.

Strategic Developments

James Fisher continues to pursue a consistent strategy of investing in niche businesses operating in demanding environments where strong marine service skills are valued and rewarded. Whilst organic growth has driven the majority of James Fisher's development, the Group continues to be alert for incremental acquisitions which will strengthen our range of products, services or geographical coverage.

The first half saw the Group's investments of recent years bear fruit with significantly higher volumes of work in Asia Pacific for our Specialist Technical businesses and the opening of an important new market in Brazil for ship-to-ship oil transfer services. In March we strengthened our product offering to the offshore renewables sector with the acquisition of Rotos 360, a high technology specialist in the repair and reconditioning of wind turbine rotor blades.

Outlook

Profit in the second half is likely to benefit from the phasing of projects across our renewables businesses due to seasonal factors and across our offshore oil businesses due to some improvement in oil and gas sector demand. We would therefore expect to see good growth from our Marine Support division. In Offshore Oil, orders in our Norwegian and our downhole equipment businesses have begun to show clear signs of recovery. Our Specialist Technical businesses continue to trade well despite some slowing in our nuclear decommissioning activities. Tankships maintain its good performance of recent years. Overall, we therefore expect to see stronger growth for the Group in the second half leading to a good improvement in the result for the year.

Dividend

The Board believes that James Fisher remains well placed to provide further growth and value for its shareholders. The Board has agreed a 10% increase in the interim dividend to 9.40 pence per share (2016: 8.55p) payable on 3 November 2017 to shareholders on the register on 6 October 2017.

C J Rice
29 August 2017

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