An operational and trading update released Wednesday by Gulf Marine Services showed that the support vessel-builder's business has managed to hold up well during the current downturn in the oil and gas sector.
Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Marine, which supplies self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs) to the offshore oil, gas and renewable energy sectors, said it achieved a high utilization across its fleet (98 percent) during the third quarter of 2015. The firm said that its current secured backlog of orders, at $615.9 million (compared to $547 million a year earlier), provides "good visibility" on future earnings.
Meanwhile, Gulf Marine said its new-build program, which will increase its fleet from nine to 15 SESVs in 2016, is progressing well. The latest vessel – the mid-size class GMS Scirocco – was completed ahead of schedule and under budget and recently began its first four-month contract.
Gulf Marine said that it has a health balance sheet and has been generating "strong" cash flow from its operations. At the end of 3Q 2015 it had net debt of approximately $385.8 million, together with undrawn bank facilities of $25 million.
The firm also highlighted a contract made during October with Abu Dhabi Ports for the lease of a new yard facility at Zayed Port, it said is operationally more efficient than its existing yard at Mussafah.
Gulf Marine CEO Duncan Anderson commented in a company statement:
"GMS has shown a robust performance during the period, maintaining a healthy order book, commencing our first decommissioning project and securing an inaugural contract for our latest new build SESV. I am also very pleased to announce our recent yard move. This new facility significantly increases our operational efficiency, which is beneficial to both GMS and our clients, and demonstrates to our shareholders our commitment to the group's long-term growth strategy through ongoing investment.
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