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Topaz vigilant for distressed opportunities during oil slump

Topaz vigilant for distressed opportunities during oil slump
Topaz Energy and Marine has announced an increase in profit for 2014, and stated the current difficult offshore market could bring growth opportunities.

Revenue for 2014 rose 7.5% to $404.6m, with net profit rising 16.3% to $52.1m, spurred by the addition of six vessels to the Topaz fleet during the year.

In the fourth quarter, where the lower oil price began to affect the offshore industry, Topaz's utilisation dropped 4.5% compared to Q4 2013 to 88.4%, but revenue and EBITDA were both up for the period. Net profit for the fourth quarter was up 83.5% to $15.6m.

A delay in the Shah Deniz-2 project in the Caspian had a $6.4m impact on revenues for 2014, but the company reports that two vessels are now transitioning to the project. Repairs to the Kashagan pipeline is also underpinning strong demand elsewhere in the Caspian, which accounts for around half of the company's revenue.

"We, like the rest of the market, are feeling the headwinds caused by the lower oil price," the company stated in its earnings release. "The strong foundations of our strategy remain: our revenue is largely driven by long-term contracts; our modern fleet makes Topaz a compelling proposition for clients; our focus on operating in the development and production phases of the oil extraction cycle provides a market of dependable revenue opportunity and visibility.

"We are constantly seeking new investment opportunities for our growth markets with a highly disciplined approach. We expect that in this period of market weakness, significant distressed opportunities will emerge, but we always remain conservative and vigilant.

"2015 will require us to continue to be flexible and agile in our thinking and planning, but, we also feel that it will continue to provide us with possibilities for continued growth across all the regions."