Engineering group sticks to strategy after ‘disappointing’ year

James Fisher Group

Engineering group James Fisher has endured a “challenging and disappointing year” as it revealed operating profits came in at the bottom end of already-lowered expectations.

The Barrow-based group’s “reset, reinforce and realise” roadmap, outlined last June, had limited impact and its underlying operating profit of £28m in 2021 was down 31% on the previous year.

James Fisher’s share price, despite rallying in 2022, was 75% below its pre-pandemic levels – and fell a further 15% when markets opened this morning.

Eoghan O’Lionaird, chief executive at James Fisher, said: “2021 was a challenging and disappointing year for the group. We experienced ongoing disruption from the global pandemic, our markets did not recover at expected rates, and we underestimated the headwinds faced by some of our businesses.”

It is continuing with its roadmap strategy and “remains confident” it will deliver “sustainable profitable growth”.

Performance in the first two months of the year have been in line with management’s expectations.

O’Lionaird added: “The full year outcome will be influenced by ship-to-ship transfer business performance; JFD securing new project wins from its pipeline; the strength of our subsea business during the busy mid-year period, our ability to manage inflationary pressures on the cost base; and the uncertainty arising from the current geopolitical environment.”