Aberdeen's John Lawrie Group seals busy year with financial boost

John Lawrie Group, the Aberdeen-headquartered metal recycling, decommissioning and steel tubulars business, had driven up profits in a year that saw the firm acquired by its management.

2017 was a significant year for the group. Picture: Contributed

Annual results for the year ended 31 December 2017, just filed at Companies House, show a near 50 per cent increase in revenues to £83 million, with operating profit more than doubling to £12m.

November saw the completion of a private equity-backed management buy-out.

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Four members of John Lawrie Group’s management team, and existing shareholders – chief executive Vic Sinclair, financial director Charlie Parker, operations director Dave Weston, and tubulars director Iain Laing – in partnership with Rubicon Partners, and principal investment firm Grovepoint, bought out the majority shareholder.

The following month, the firm’s metal recycling division expanded into Shetland with the acquisition of the Rova Head facility in Lerwick. This reopened this February after undergoing a major infrastructure upgrade.

Contributing to the solid financial result has been the group’s metal recycling division, which incorporates decommissioning services. Last year, the division recorded its highest ever annual tonnage of scrap metal throughput, consistently exporting in excess of 10,000 tonnes per month to European steel mills.

Although John Lawrie Group has been active in oil and gas and subsea decommissioning work for a number of years, it said it had noticed an upturn in activity from this sector during the past two years.

Parker said: “During 2017 we witnessed an excellent performance across the whole group. We have been able to focus on our core business and develop an exciting, fully funded growth strategy in partnership with our new investors.

“The acquisition of a new facility in Shetland adds to our existing metal recycling operating bases in Aberdeen, Montrose and Evanton, near Inverness. These allow us to provide our customers across the north of Scotland with an excellent and well established support service for oil and gas decommissioning and other dismantling projects.

“We have also established a mobile project team that has carried out decom work at numerous port facilities right down the UK east coast.”

In North America, John Lawrie Group’s tubulars division has transformed significantly over the last few years, becoming firmly established as a key supplier of steel tubulars to the foundation piling sector.

Since 2014, the business, which is based in Texas, has opened storage locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in order to service the construction market in the north eastern states more efficiently.