Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Subsea Specialist in Line to Hit Ambitious Targets

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Subsea Specialist in Line to Hit Ambitious Targets

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter McCusker

WORLD-LEADING Tyneside firm SMD has secured new contracts worth in excess of pounds 60m as it remains on track to triple revenues in the space of five years.

The subsea oil and gas engineering specialist was crowned the region's fastest growing company last year, having increased sales from pounds 37.5m in 2007 to pounds 50m in 2009.

With revenues projected to reach pounds 75m this year chief executive Andrew Hodgson says he is confident of achieving sales of pounds 100m in 2011, and pounds 120m by 2012.

SMD has refocused since its 2008 MBO which was supported by private equity firm Inflexion. It has extended its product range in the subsea oil and gas and cable-laying sectors as well as focusing on new product areas including nuclear decommissioning and renewable energy.

The company which is based on the banks of the Tyne at Wallsend, next door to Swan Hunter, has also expanded its geographical reach, having opened an office and support centre in Singapore, and is in the process of establishing a presence in the United States.

Mr Hodgson is bullish about its prospects, with SMD having secured two new contracts worth a total of pounds 60m in recent months, boosting its order book to over pounds 100m.

One contract, which has been renegotiated up from its previous value of pounds 30m to pounds 50m, is seeing SMD currently develop the world's first underground mining equipment to extract copper from the Pacific sea bed off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

The second contract for up to pounds 40m is close to being signed, with SMD reluctant to elaborate on this until it is complete.

SMD has also launched a joint venture with tidal energy developer Atlantis Resources Corporation (ARC) to manufacture the world's largest tidal turbine system, which will be tested this summer off the Scottish coast. …

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