James Fisher shares up 8% on trading update

Shares of Barrow-in-Furness international marine services company James Fisher and Sons plc rose about 8% on Thursday after it published a trading update for the year ended December 31, 2020.

Whilst the fourth quarter continued to be challenging, we saw an improvement in trading over the third quarter with revenue ahead sequentially by 7%,” said James Fisher.

“Revenue for the full year, subject to audit, was 16% lower than 2019.

“As a result, underlying operating profit for the full year, before separately disclosed items, is now expected to be at the higher end of the £35m-£40m range previously disclosed on 6 November 2020.

Specialist Technical, Tankships and Offshore Oil performed relatively well in the fourth quarter despite difficult trading conditions.

“Our ship-to-ship transfer operations continue to perform in line with our expectations, whilst elsewhere in Marine Support there has been a significant impact from the lack of subsea projects, both in offshore wind and oil & gas.

We have already taken swift actions to reduce overheads in Marine Support and have reviewed the carrying value of its entire asset base.

“As a result, the board intends, subject to audit, to make a one-off impairment provision in relation to goodwill, fixed assets and certain accounts receivable within this division which has no cash impact.

“Separately disclosed items for the group are now estimated to amount to between £75m and £85m in 2020.

During December, the group also completed customer acceptance testing on a 500m saturation diving system, the first of its kind, which triggered the release of advance payment bond commitments to the customer.

“Cash generation was strong in the quarter and year end net borrowings excluding IFRS16 leases are expected to be between £175m and £180m.

“Headroom on committed facilities at 31 December was c. £120m.

The group will announce its full year results on 2 March 2021.”