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Topaz weathers offshore downturn with slim profit, targets Africa

Topaz weathers offshore downturn with slim profit, targets Africa
Topaz Energy and Marine has announced profits of $1.1m in Q1 2015, an 88% fall from $9.2m reported in the same period last year.

The fall in profit was attributed mostly to the Africa region, where, at the same time as weathering the poor market conditions and low oil prices, Topaz invested extensively in its fleet. This contributed to a 12.1% drop in overall utilisation rates, to 84%.

“Our Africa operations reflected the investments Topaz is making in its fleet in the region and short-term pricing pressure,” ceo René Kofod-Olsen explained. “Our expansion in Africa signals the opportunities open to Topaz to pursue growth in new markets. We are now fully registered in our key African markets of Nigeria and Angola, which means we are able to pursue medium to long term contracts rather than the spot business to which we have been restricted to date.

“We will experience some short-term pressure in Africa as we develop our fleet, but we remain convinced of the long term offshore opportunity the market represents.”

Comparatively healthy revenues of $85.2m, a 4.7% decrease over Q4 2014, were generated elsewhere. “Our businesses in the Caspian and MENA regions, responsible for 85% of total revenue, delivered robust performances for the quarter,” said Kofod-Olsen.

One step Topaz has taken is the refinancing of some of the company’s debt, Kofod-Olsen explained. “The favourable terms of our re-financing illustrate the strong growth opportunity of Topaz. Our model of securing medium to long term contracts, our predominant presence in the sustainable development and production phases of the oil extraction cycle and our young fleet of vessels position us very favourably in the market.

“Our exposure to different markets means we are able to manage any short-term market pressure, underlining the strength of Topaz’s diversified portfolio. We remain positive about the prospects for growth across our regions; business activity is picking up and we are confident that our strategy and operational excellence will help to deliver a robust performance for 2015.”