Offshore firm 3Sun reports rise in profits and turnover - despite tough market conditions

Graham Hacon from the 3sun group. Picture: James Bass

Graham Hacon from the 3sun group. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Offshore firm 3Sun Group has fought against falling energy prices and a tough trading climate to post large increases in both turnover and profit.

3Sun Group. Picture: James Bass

3Sun Group. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

The Great Yarmouth-based firm, which employs more than 340 people in Norfolk, Aberdeen, Denmark and Norway, saw turnover climb £8m to £28.9m for the year ending March 2015.

It made pre-tax profits of £2.6m for the same period, up 55pc from £1.6m the year before.

However in a reflection of the tough climate, the group offered staff the chance to take unpaid leave in the first three months of this year in a bid to cut costs.

In its latest accounts lodged on Companies House directors said the group - which operates in oil and gas as well as renewable energy - was well positioned to capitalise on a growth in the renewables sector.

It said it would continue to expand through a mixture of organic growth, partnerships and further acquisitions.

But chief executive Graham Hacon said while the company had grown steadily during its eight years in operation, the last year had been challenging as it adjusted to a lower oil price and completed the installation phase of offshore wind projects.

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The challenging market has seen brent crude prices fall to about $38 a barrel, down from $100 a barrel in 2014, while gas prices have dropped to 33p per therm, down from 50p per therm a year ago.

But in the face of lower energy prices driving down the number of available contracts for supply chain companies, Mr Hacon said: 'Despite the current market conditions, we remain well positioned as a fundamentally sound business. Although we continue to have to adapt like many other businesses, we are committed to sustaining our international growth and expansion.'

The group's end-of-year strategic report said with oil prices remaining low, customers might reduce their non-essential expenditure.

'While a risk, the directors also believe this could be an opportunity with the group being able to offer a lower cost solution to customers than traditional providers,' it said.

The company bought offshore training provider AID Industrial in April last year for a total of £431,900.

Mr Hacon added: 'The acquisition of AID Industrial was significant for the group and is aligned to our growth strategy for the next five years, ensuring we can offer a full turnkey solution to our customers.

'We are ideally placed to access offshore opportunities in the European renewable and oil and gas sectors and the opening of our Danish office allowed us to enhance our operations for local client support while increasing our international footprint.

'The training and development of our staff and our relationships with current and prospective customers, and what we can offer them, remains at the forefront of all that we do.'

Has your firm experienced a record year? Call Sabah Meddings on 01603 772879 or email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk