"The very strong increase in revenues for 2007 represents the concrete success of the 2003-2007 plan, explains Jacques de Chateauvieux, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, despite the impact of foreign exchange rates over the period and losses in activity related to the Bourbon Dolphin and the Athena in 2007. In five years, average annual revenue growth for the scope of businesses retained has been 24%, exceeding the 15% initially projected."
BOURBON's 2007 annual revenues totaled 769.7 million euros, up 26.5% (+35.5% at constant exchange rates). The growth in the activity of the two Divisions, Offshore and Bulk, continued to be impacted by changes in the euro/dollar parity.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, revenue increase reached 13.9%, or +24.4% at constant exchange rates.
Within the new scope of the group, particularly since finalizing the sale of the port towage business on December 21, 2007, BOURBON generated 92% of its revenues internationally.
Revenues recorded by the Offshore Division for 2007 totaled 484.5 million euros, an increase of 21.9% (+29.5% at constant exchange rates). The growth in this business during the 2003-2007 plan has been +27% a year over the announced objective of +22%, despite the unfavorable change in the value of the dollar.
In 2007, BOURBON took delivery of 13 supply vessels and 24 crewboats (versus 16 supply vessels and 15 crewboats in 2006). In addition, the revenues generated by chartered vessels amounted to 41 million euros in 2007, compared to 21 million euros in 2006. These charters meet the needs of the clients for which BOURBON is waiting for delivery of owned vessels.
Over the 4th quarter of 2007, revenues recorded by the Offshore Division rose 10.0% to 128.6 million euros, or +18.6% at constant exchange rates. Revenues for the quarter were impacted by the change in the exchange rate (1.45 in 4th quarter 2007 compared with 1.29 for the same period in 2006).
In 2007, the African Zone rose 22.3%, representing 66% of the revenues generated by the Offshore Division. Traditionally supported by Nigeria and Angola, the Offshore Division in West Africa expanded into Equatorial Guinea and Congo to establish a position in the most active regional deepwater offshore market in the world. Africa, BOURBON's historical operating region, continued to be a high-growth market, despite difficulties related to the instability in the Port Harcourt area in Nigeria.
The Division recorded a decline in the percentage of revenues generated by the Europe & Mediterranean/Middle East region, which suffered from a sharp drop in the contribution from the North Sea.
Asia, a new zone of commercial development for BOURBON, continued to record strong growth, with new contracts signed in 2007 in India, Thailand, Indonesia and recently in Malaysia.
Revenues for the Bulk Division totaled 244.8 million euros in 2007, an increase of 44.7% (+57.8% at constant exchange rates).
This growth was positively impacted by the rise in market freight rates (from 22,600 to 47,300 euros on average) and negatively by the value of the dollar.
Growth was 33.2% to 61.3 million euros in the fourth quarter (+49.6% at constant exchange rates).
16.2 million tons were shipped in 2007, up from 15.7 million tons in 2006.
Finally, the proportion of the activity performed with vessels owned or under long-term charter remained stable, with the delivery of the Thermidor in October offsetting the sale of the Nantor at the end of December.
In line with the strategy to assist its industrial clients over the long-term, Setaf Saget benefitted, later and to a lesser extent, from sharp variations in the market, both up and down.
As part of the expansion of the BOURBON strategic plan to Horizon 2012, the Offshore Division now includes two activities, Marine Services and Subsea Services. The scope of the Bulk Division remains unchanged.
The 2008 financial results will reflect this change as of the first semester.
Delivery frequency will accelerate in 2008, with the inclusion of new vessels built in Chinese shipyards like the Bourbon Pearl, an Ulstein P105 design IMR vessel delivered in December 2007 which will be fully operational in 2008, and the Bourbon Liberty 101, the first PSV in the GPA 654 series, which will strengthen the Offshore Support Vessels fleet during the first semester in 2008.
The Bulk Division anticipates strong business in 2008 with greater volatility in freight rates, which remain however at historically very high levels.
Generally, BOURBON's business will continue to be impacted by fluctuations in the euro/dollar parity.
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