Pos-Grip puts Plexus on the international map

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OFFSHORE engineering firm Plexus yesterday reported surging profits as the Aberdeen-based firm’s wellhead system gains popularity with international oil companies.

The firm said a 24 per cent increase in sales revenue to £9.3 million in the six months to 31 December helped pre-tax profits reach £1.5m, up 33 per cent on the same period a year earlier.

Finance director Graham Stevens said the firm’s “Pos-Grip” friction-based method of wellhead engineering was gaining acceptance in the industry and was proving increasingly popular for use in “high pressure, high temperature” drilling situations.

The firm recently added Australian gas firm Santos and a “major Malaysian national oil and gas operator” to its list of customers.

Stevens said: “We’ve spent quite some time and money persuading the industry that the Pos-Grip method is, in our submission, superior both in terms of operational performance and time saving.

“We’ve been laying out our stall in an organic way, from the UK North Sea to the Norwegian North Sea to now having contracts in places as diverse as Australia, Cameroon, Malaysia and Trinidad.”

He said the company was balancing its expansion against increasing capital expenditure, as it needed to increase the stock of equipment available for hire.

The company may eventually need to start licensing its technology to other manufacturers in order to keep up with demand, Stevens said.

Plexus, which is registered in Surrey but operates from Aberdeen, also upped its research and development spending in the second half of the year to £500,000, from £300,000 previously. It is working on a subsea version of the Pos-Grip and has backing for the project from a number of oil firms.

The company increased its interim dividend by 11.4 per cent to 0.39p.