In 2008 Semco Maritime achieved a growth in sales of 22%, from DKK1,282 billion to DKK1,569 billion. A pressed oil and gas market made it difficult to achieve the goals set for 2008, as the result before tax was reduced from DKK61.3 million to DKK45.1 million.
COO Erik Gaj Nielsen said: “We have achieved a healthy growth in turnover rate and our return on equity has been at a reasonable level. But generally the market is characterised by the decline in the price of crude oil that we have experienced since the summer of 2008.
“As for power plants and other infrastructure projects, we find that there is a shortage of venture capital to undertake major investments, which is due to the international financial crisis.”
The slowdown in the oil and gas sector has been particularly noticeable in the Norwegian market, where the volume of queries has decreased significantly during the financial year. Moreover, the market was affected by the consequences of the Statoil-Hydro merger, as the project sizes offered by the oil giant prevented medium-sized foreign players such as Semco Maritime from sharing in the tasks for a period.
Growth within reach
With a turnover just short of DKK1.6 billion, Semco Maritime barely reached the budgeted revenue in 2008. This is partly due to the fact that a large power plant project in El Salvador has been delayed for about one year because of exogenous factors, and partly because the acquisition of the Norwegian engineering company, AGR Project Partner AS, with effect from 30 November 2008 did not fall into place until late in the year.
Semco Maritime’s strategic plan, Log-On 2008-2010, operates with a turnover of DKK2.8 billion at the end of 2010. Although 2008 was not quite the expected growth in sales, Mr Nielsen still considers it realistic to achieve targeted growth.
He said: “One of the preconditions is that in 2009 the wheels will start turning again within our fields of operation. We now see signs that the market outlooks are lightening.”
Acquisitions shall contribute to growth
Another precondition for achieving the goal is that one or two major acquisitions are completed during the strategy period.
CEO Steen Brødbaek, who joined Semco Maritime on 1 May, said: “In the coming years we shall grow even stronger within the core activities of oil and gas. Furthermore, we must implement a geographic expansion into areas where we can use our skills. In fact, this means areas/countries where oil is produced, such as South America.”