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Ministry of Defence work propels sales and profits at North East ship builder A&P Group

Posted on 05 January 2022

Ministry of Defence work propels sales and profits at North East ship builder A&P Group

The group which has bases in Hebburn and Falmouth is looking to provide support services to emerging sectors

Increasing military projects have propelled profits and turnover at North East ship builder A&P Group

Turnover at the company – which has a shipyard at Wagonway Road in Hebburn, South Tyneside, as well as facilities at Falmouth, in Cornwall – rose from £74.5m to £88.5m, while operating profit rocketed from £1.63m to £4.88m.

Overall profit for the year came in at £3.68m, a marked increased on the previous year’s £895,000.

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In accounts for the year ended March 31 2021, the company said the growth has been driven by a return to military refit programmes carried out at its South West base, which had been absent the previous year.

It said it was continuing to concentrate on “the core larger ticket” ship repair and conversion activities and fabrication contracts, as well as looking to make moves into the renewable energy sector.

But despite the group turnover rise, the firm said that North East revenue was lower, having seen its core ship repair work fall away because of Covid-19 restrictions and vessel owners using local yards on the continent. However, it said: “We push hard to increase volume levels in the North East business through both our loyal customer base and new customers.”

In the accounts, CEO David McGinley said: “The year ended March 31 2021 has seen a return to higher revenue levels owing to a return to normalised military refit programmes through the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), absent in the prior year.

“The impact of the foregoing resulted in the increase of some £25m of revenue in the year offset, in part, by a reduction in offsite military work as some large contracts completed prior year, together with lower commercial ship repair revenue as a consequence of both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

“The group has concentrated on the groundwork laid in previous years by continuing to raise its profile in both the traditional ship repair and conversion market and also in the renewable energy, the oil and gas sectors and in modular fabrication for the ship building industry.

“These together with the generation of a pleasing result by the management and workforce continue to confirm A&P as one of the premier ship building and repairing, ship conversion and marine engineering businesses in the UK.

“These results are regarded as pleasing given that they were delivered during the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic and is testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees who have stepped-up in this period.”

Looking ahead, Mr McGinley said the firm was looking to new sectors.

He added: “The group is determined to take advantage of the Falmouth and Tyne sites, which are well placed to secure work as part of the supply chain for, and to provide support services to, the emerging renewable energy sector, National Shipbuilding Strategy, and also into the oil and gas and heavy engineering industry.

“The board recognise that activities in the latter sector remains subdued but are paying close attention to the initiatives in that area and are continuing to develop links into the operation and maintenance part of the offshore supply chain.”