Aberdeen millionaire Ian Suttie’s First Tech was the red in 2018-19, but efforts to bolster the firm’s balance sheet and an influx of contracts have set the group up for a “bright future”.
Owner Mr Suttie has converted 90% of First Tech’s debt into equity, according to the group’s latest accounts, covering the year ended April 30, 2019.
In his strategic report, signed off last month, the tycoon said the group had a “strong foundation” for putting its “ambitious growth strategy” into motion.
First Tech had net assets of £38.4 million at the end of the reporting period, against net liabilities of £2.98m a year earlier.
Accounts for First Tech consolidate the results for group subsidiaries First Integrated Solutions (FIS), First Marine Solutions (FMS), First Subsea, First Competence and Mooring Systems.
The document showed group pre-tax losses of £1.95m for 2018-19, down from a profit of £1m the previous year, while revenue dropped to £17.1m from £30.8m.
Mr Suttie described 2018-19 as a “challenging trading period”, but said continued hefty investment in all areas of the group was starting to “bear fruit”.
He said performance had improved substantially, and that the second half of 2019 had yielded several “significant contract wins”.
Mr Suttie’s son, Martin, who is managing director of Aberdeen-headquartered FIS, said in December that deals worth about £20m had been secured across the group in the previous six months.
Mr Suttie Jr said those contract wins would improve trading at First Tech “for many years to come”.
A deal worth at least £10m for FMS to provide mooring equipment across BP’s assets in the UK continental shelf was announced in August.
FIS won a two-year pact with Total’s Danish business for the supply of rigging lofts and a three-year equipment and plant hire agreement with Texo Group.
In April 2019, FIS secured a contract worth in excess of £4.5m to provide equipment and services to Spirit Energy.
FIS is the biggest employer in the group, with about 85 people on its books. First Tech companies currently employ around 155 people in total.
Mr Suttie Jr said the management team was looking forward to a busy year ahead.