Aberdeen logistics giant Asco sees sales and profits surge despite 'extreme' pressures

Asco, the Aberdeen-headquartered logistics and materials management operator, has boosted turnover and profits despite the pandemic and “extreme pressure” on the energy sector.

The group, which has a global footprint, said it had made significant investment in its people and in innovation to increase efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions for its clients.

Newly lodged accounts for the year to December 31, 2021 reveal a £72 million increase in turnover, from £347m to £419m. Operating profits, before exceptional items, more than doubled, rising from £4.7m in 2020 to £13.1m last year.

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Bosses said that despite the backdrop of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic and pressure on the energy sector, the group’s continued investment had resulted in significant growth.

During the financial year, the firm established a new operating location in Senegal. As the sole provider of quayside management services to the newly established Senegalese oil and gas industry, this base presents “significant scope” for future growth across the wider region, Asco added. Initial success in Senegal has led to expansion plans in other regions later this year.

The group also expanded its presence in Canada, opening a third site, in New Brunswick, to strengthen its downstream capabilities in North America.

To support the continued growth, the firm has recruited personnel across its new and existing locations, bringing the total global headcount to more than 1,400.

Group chief executive Peter France said: “It has been a challenging time for the sector, amidst the global pandemic and industry challenges as the sector strives to achieve net zero targets, but I’m very pleased to report that Asco has delivered a solid financial performance.

Headquartered in Aberdeen, logistics and materials management specialist Asco operates from more than 70 locations worldwide.

“While the coronavirus travel restrictions proved challenging for over 18 months, we were still able to open two new and successful operating locations in Senegal and Canada and continued to grow our established sites and networks across the globe.

“Our fundamental obsessions of safety, service excellence and sustainability are well embedded in the business and are the cornerstones of our offering to customers.”

The group said it was committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and was actively implementing changes to the business to reduce its carbon output.

It has successfully supported new energy operations for multiple wind projects across the UK and Norway, as well as work in carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and blue ammonia.

France added: “Our new operating models and innovation have enhanced our service and supported our retention and extension of several key contracts, markedly growing our UK market share.

“Following a successful first quarter in 2022, we are exceptionally well-placed for continued growth. Through the expansion of our international operations and diversification of our service into new sectors including carbon capture and offshore wind, we will accelerate not only our own energy transition but our clients’ as well.”

Headquartered in Aberdeen, Asco operates from more than 70 locations worldwide. Asco Group Ltd is owned by Zander Topco.

The firm said the drive to decarbonise its operations with the latest technology was well underway, improving sustainability standards in the industry and “exemplifying best practices”.

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