ONE of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs has signalled a major move into philanthropy after the latest profits from his Edinburgh company took the total to more than £112 million in the past five years.
Hamid Guedroudj, who founded engineering software business Petroleum Experts in 1990, said a £30m dividend payout this year would “allow the creation of organisations dedicated to philanthropy” although it is not yet known where or how the funds will be channelled to good causes.
The announcement came after another year of bumper profits for the company which provides oil firms with digital mapping tools to improve production efficiency. It has clients across the world including BP, Chevron and Shell.
Turnover in the year to 30 September rose by £1.25m to £39.2m and pre-tax profits increased to £30.5m from £29m.
The directors described the growth in the latest financial year as “very modest” but said they considered it satisfactory in light of delays to a number of projects in the Middle East.
These delays had reduced revenues below a target of £46m but the company said it was in discussions about a “much bigger presence” in the Middle East where it said the future looks “extremely good”.
Sales rose by 33 per cent in the UK, 30.3 per cent in Africa, and 25 per cent in the Far East.
The number of staff employed nudged up to 61 from 59. During the year the firm paid out just under £120,000 to charities, the bulk of it to Diabetes UK. The dividend is being paid to Integrated Technologies Group, a Jersey-based business which is two-thirds owned by Guedroudj with the balance held by fellow Petroleum Experts director Mark Deere. The dividend payout compared to just £400,000 the previous year.
Algerian-born oil consultant Guedroudj, 60, developed Petroleum Experts from a start-up with no external funding and its technology has since been utilised in more than 200 oil fields. Its technology captures the behaviour of the oil field digitally, allowing it to be viewed on a PC.
The applications are used as an online management system of an oil and gas company’s assets throughout their life- cycle.
In June Guedroudj was named as EY Scotland’s entrepreneur of the year with the judges describing him as a “standout entrepreneur” and highlighted the “phenomenal achievements” of his company.
Senior EY partner Jim Bishop said at the time of the award: “Hamid is one of the most engaging entrepreneurs I’ve met in my time on the programme.
“Petroleum Experts has enjoyed staggering growth, becoming a global industry leader along the way, and is in an incredibly strong and secure position. I have no doubt the business will continue to enjoy great success under his leadership.”
Last year Petroleum Experts also won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest accolade for international business success, and Guedroudj was also named the Entrepreneurial Exchange Entrepreneur of the Year.
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