PETROLEUM Experts, the highly profitable engineering technology company headed by the newly crowned Scottish entrepreneur of the year, is reaping the benefits of strong growth in overseas demand.
Latest figures show the Edinburgh-based company, run by Abdelhamid Guedroudj, delivered a 50 per rise in profits before tax to £29.1 million on sales up by more than a third to just under £38m. International expansion fuelled much of the growth with sales in the Middle East up by 215 per cent in the year to 30 September, along with an 84 per cent rise in Africa, 79 per cent in South America and 75 per cent in Australasia.
Algerian-born Guedroudj described the year as a “particularly busy one” for the firm, which also operates a base at Houston in Texas.
He said the figures were the result of the long-term strategy to invest in its digital oil field technology to establish the firm as a leader in its field.
“The focus in the years to come is to maintain the technological lead,” he said.
Guedroudj said the performance in overseas markets had exceeded forecasts and it is “anticipated that this growth will be maintained for the years to come”.
Staff numbers increased to 59 from 53 with the highest-paid director receiving £200,603, virtually unchanged on the previous year. Dividends of £400,000 were paid compared to none last year.
Guedroudj founded the company in 1990 to develop systems that enable customers to produce digital maps covering processes ranging from the production of oil to refining.
Customers use the software to boost production and the efficiency of operations such as reservoir engineering.
The company has won contracts with 25 global clients and its technology has so far been deployed in more than 200 fields.
The company won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise this year and Guedroudj was also named Scotland’s entrepreneur of the year at the 19th annual Entrepreneurial Exchange awards last month.
John Anderson, chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, told the organisation’s awards event that Guedroudj was “a classic entrepreneur”.
“He was told that he was naive to attempt to set up this business so could not access initial funding,” Anderson explained.
“This didn’t put him off and he went on to establish a truly global business providing a unique, essential product for the oil and gas industry.
“Self funded, and with enormous growth, he retains full control of a business that looks set to get bigger year on year.” Mike McGregor, a partner at “big four” accountancy firm Deloitte and leader of the interview team for the awards, said: “Guedroudj has built Petroleum Experts from nothing using his skills, knowledge and expertise to create a world class business.
Wayne Godfrey, who heads the Browns Food Group, and Billy Walker, founder of The BenRiach Distillery Company, were shortlisted for the award.