Ferguson unveils plan for £75m spend as revenues surge

FERGUSON, the Aberdeenshire-based offshore equipment rental group, yesterday unveiled plans to pump almost £75 million into its business after posting an 18 per cent rise in revenue.

Mike Melville, finance director, said nearly 75 per cent of the firm's revenue now comes from overseas, a trend he expects to continue.

The company plans to invest over the next three years, with a "large proportion" going towards overseas expansion.

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Some 20m is already being invested in the fitting out of the group's first accommodation support vessel, which is being refurbished by Ferguson Shipbuilders - an unrelated business - in Port Glasgow at a cost of 3.2m and which is due to be ready in September.

The group is also moving its headquarters from Inverurie to Kintore, where its module rental business will relocate early next year.

The division that runs the accommodation support vessel will also relocate to Kintore, while the manufacturing unit will remain in Inverurie.

Ferguson's headcount rose from 135 to 145 over the course of 2009 but the directors said they do not expect significant changes in staffing levels during the current financial year.

The group rents out containers and engineering and accommodation modules to clients in the oil and gas and renewable energy industries.

Melville added: "We expect to build upon the strong internationalisation the group has already achieved.

"We have made a good start to 2010 and are starting to see increasing demand coming through in all the markets we operate in"

Turnover in 2009 reached 35.8m, up from 30.2m in 2008, as the firm continues its overseas expansion via its offices in Norway, Singapore and Australia.

Pre-tax profits were up 8 per cent to 13.5m, while the company paid out dividends of 2m, compared with 1.5m in 2008.