James fisher IMS
James Fisher and Sons plc
Interim Management and AGM Statement
James Fisher has started 2012 well and trading to date has been better than management expectations, with growth in turnover for the first four months of the year in excess of 20%. This strong performance should not necessarily be taken as a general indicator for the whole of 2012, because it is still too early to anticipate the outcome for the year.
James Fisher remains very well placed with a proven strategy and track record to produce good growth and value for our shareholders.
Both our key Specialist Technical and Offshore Oil divisions produced strong organic growth. They are benefiting from the Group's strategy of focusing James Fisher's specialist marine service skills on the Asian Pacific and other fast growing developing markets.
The Subsea Defence division has been busy on the major £11m refit of the Swedish submarine rescue system and has been quoting for a number of other major contracts for which no decision has yet been made. Our coastal tanker business has traded profitably but is still the most exposed to the challenging European economic environment.
The increased levels of activity, funding of the Swedish submarine refit and start up of the major Angolan contract, means that the working capital requirement at the half year is likely to be higher than usual. However, the financial position of the Company is extremely strong with good underlying cash flow and ample headroom on our banking facilities.
On a personal note, I shall be 65 in July and have decided to retire at that time as Chairman. The Board has decided that Charles Rice, who has been a non-executive director for a number of years, will take over from me from 1 August 2012. James Fisher has an experienced executive management team in place. The Group also benefits from a strong divisional management team, most of which has been in place for five years.
It has been a privilege to have served as James Fisher's Chairman for over ten years and it is heartening that I shall be able to leave the Company when it is not only trading very well but also has great potential for future growth.