ROVOP’s growth trajectory to continue into 2022 after latest accounts show strong performance in 2021

ROVOP, a leading remotely operated vehicle specialist (ROV), is predicting a continuing growth trajectory in 2022.

This comes after a strong year which, since the previously reported £25m of contract wins, has seen the business secure a further £5m of awards in the last six weeks, predominantly in the renewables sector. This reflects the continuing increase in ROVOP’s global operations and business activity across all sectors.

Accounts for the Aberdeen-headquartered company for the 18-month period ending March 31, 2021, show revenues of £47.9m and EBITDA of £2.9m. All of the positive EBITDA was achieved in the second half of the period. Operating profit in the current year was £5.4m versus of loss £5.3m in the previous year. This was in large part due to the exceptional gain and, similar to EBITDA, the business exiting the year with greatly improved performance.

This momentum is carrying into 2022 with revenues currently being generated at a level around 50% higher than the corresponding period in 2019/20.

The average number of employees is marginally lower than the previous period reflecting a combination of the impact of the pandemic and associated fluctuations in the offshore workforce as projects are mobilised and demobilised.  

The latter part of the reporting period coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, ROVOP’s global footprint enabled the company to flex its operations to scale as existing customers continued to operate and as the business attracted new customers.

The business has further invested in its ROV fleet by purchasing two work class systems and a light work class and continues to look at expanding its fleet and its capability. Investment in dedicated recruitment resources across its global offices has enhanced ROVOP’s ability to deliver projects in an ever-tightening market.

The firm’s recent financial restructure and refinancing, along with the multi-million pound contract wins, put it on a robust footing for future development and positive cash flow and the availability of working capital to support investment in its people, services and fleet to meet future demand.

The restructure has significantly strengthened the net assets position of the business, increasing from £25.4m at September 2019 to £48.5m at March 2021.

ROVOP Chief Executive, Neil Potter, said: “Further to the steps taken by management and shareholders since the restructuring, ROVOP’s position has been transformed on a number of fronts with activity levels and trading performance increasing at a rate which considerably exceeds expectations.

“Third party debt and associated cash service have been eliminated from the business, with both these factors combining to put the group in a self-sustaining cash generating position.

“The emerging growth in the subsea sectors of oil and gas and renewables presents a significant opportunity for us and one on which we are now well placed to capitalise.

“The company is actively focusing on securing new contracts in the renewables sector, particularly in offshore wind and cable laying. It is anticipated that significant progress will be made in this regard in the current year with ROVOP now placed on four vessels dedicated to supporting renewable energy projects and with additional placements on generalist vessels which also operate in this sector.”

“While the impact of the pandemic made world-wide trading conditions extremely challenging, the commitment and efforts, particularly of our offshore teams, through a difficult period for international travel, ensured that we continued to sustain and grow our activity levels to support our customers,” said Mr Potter.

“This is underlined by the increasing number of customers who are selecting ROVOP to provide services for multiple vessels, positively reinforcing the work that we have collectively put in to providing consistent and high-performing service delivery. As we head into 2022, we are well positioned with campaigns across the world.

“Alongside ROVOP’s ‘cornerstone’ regions of Europe, Middle East and US, we have interesting developments in APAC and elsewhere including the securing of a major contract in Thailand, the continuation of major construction campaigns in India and Australasia and a multi-million pound upcoming campaign in West Africa, all of which combine to further confirm ROVOP’s significant global capability and reach.

“To support this and anticipated new contract wins, our recruitment effort will be stepped up over the coming weeks, particularly for offshore personnel required to support the upcoming projects in what is shaping up to be a very busy season.

“While the swift escalation of the Omicron variant will continue to present challenges for some time to come, we are confident that the very positive change we have seen in the market, with the marked uplift in demand for vessels and correspondingly for our services, will continue throughout 2022 and beyond. The fact that this increase has been across all sectors with a wide customer base, provides further security and stability as we focus on safe delivery of our services.”