ASCO reports on a year of strong financial growth

10/10/2023
Mike Pettigrew (ASCO)

ASCO has reported a 52 percent increase in turnover in a strong year for the Aberdeen-headquartered business, which saw it win new clients, grow its range of services and sectoral support, and expand into new geographies.

Accounts lodged for the year ending 31 December 2022 show that the company, a leading global provider of logistics and materials management services, saw group sales rise to £637.9 million, up from £419.4 million the previous year.

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Operating profits before exceptional items rose to £22.2 million, an increase of 20.7% over the 2021 figure of £18.4million. Additionally, the Group returned to profitability, reporting a Net Profit from continuing operations of £4.6m in 2022 compared to a Net Loss of £2.6m in 2021.

The strong performance was achieved against a backdrop of continuing conflict in Ukraine, geopolitical uncertainty and significant inflationary concerns.

Activity was particularly strong in the UK where business continues to see higher demand across its service lines of quayside logistics, materials management, environmental and bunkering services. 

Over the course of the year, the company grew its market share, securing a number of new clients and retaining and extending several key contracts. A proactive approach to sales and strengthening of the company’s management team also reaped dividends with notably increased revenue across other business lines.

In contrast, some of ASCO’s international business did face challenges, primarily driven by regional dips in activity, particularly in Norway, Canada, and Trinidad. Despite this there are a number of promising elements which contribute to an optimistic outlook for 2023 and beyond. This includes the commencement of operations in Suriname and strong business performance in Senegal where positive recognition of work done to promote local capability and the development of local personnel opened up new opportunities in the wider region.

Overall, building on previous years, the 2022 results have laid down a strong foundation for ongoing growth as the company moves towards the future under its new owner, private equity firm Endless LLP, which is focused on building enduring and sustainable businesses.

The acquisition, which was finalised in August 2023, further strengthens ASCO’s position in the growing renewables and new energy markets, enabling it to capitalise on the increasing opportunities presented by the energy transition.

Mike Pettigrew, who officially took over from Peter France as ASCO’s Group CEO last week, said that energy transition is driving increased investment in new energy markets, and this supports ASCO’s long-term objective of transitioning from a service company for the oil and gas industry into one supporting all aspects of the energy supply chain.

“The need for energy security, along with existing planned investment is a positive indicator of future growth. ASCO’s full range of integrated logistics and materials management services will be critical in delivering the energy transition.”

Commenting on the 2022 accounts, Mr Pettigrew said: “The success and strong performance we saw across 2022 is due in no small part to our workforce whose dedication and hard work ensured that we continued the momentum of the previous year.

“We are particularly proud of the feedback we received from customers who highlighted ASCO’s core obsessions on safety and service alongside market leading materials management and process improvement capabilities as being instrumental in ensuring that we remain a service provider of choice.

“We are pleased to have secured a number of important new contracts during the year and that despite challenges, we continue to successfully expand at an international level with our entry into Suriname and by strengthening our presence in the Caribbean.”

Servicing clients across a range of industries, including renewables, oil and gas, and decommissioning on both on and offshore projects, ASCO now employs around 1,500 people operating from more than 60 locations worldwide.

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