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MAINBOARD-LISTED Mermaid Maritime said its net profit for fiscal year ended Sept 30, 2014, tripled to US$45.3 million, from US$15.4 million a year ago, buoyed by strong demand for its services and particularly contribution from Asia Offshore Drilling Limited (AOD). The jump in net profit brings earnings per share to 0.032 US cent for FY2014, up from 0.02 cent in FY2013.
The provider of subsea and drilling services for the offshore oil and gas industry said the group enjoyed strong demand for its services, resulting in its healthy order book of US$470 million.
It added that the strong performance was mainly boosted by profit contribution from associate company AOD, which soared six-fold to US$31.1 million in FY2014, from US$4.4 million in FY2013.
Better performance in all segments, especially its own subsea and drilling segments, further lifted net profit for the year.
The group's subsea business posted service income growth of 15.9 per cent to US$289.1 million, primarily supported by the Saudi Aramco project, its Middle-Eastern projects and those in Indonesia.
As for its drilling business, service income grew 18.2 per cent to US$27.8 million. All the revenue was generated by the MTR-2 rig which enjoyed a utilisation rate of 98 per cent in FY2014, compared with 43 per cent in FY2013, while the MTR-1 was on standby.
Revenue rose 16.1 per cent to US$313 million for FY2014, from US$270 million a year ago. Net asset value per share also went up from 0.38 US cent in FY2013 to 0.40 US cent in FY2014. A final dividend of US$0.0047 per share was declared.
Chalermchai Mahagitsiri, Mermaid's chief executive officer, described the performance as "outstanding", adding that the results affirm the company's operations in mostly shallow-water fields and the production phase of the oil and gas supply chain.
He noted that shallow water fields are more defensive and oil price volatility has a lower impact on these fields as break-even points are much lower.
"The utilisation rate in our Middle East operations has been satisfactory and we believe the production in the Middle East will stand relatively strong, providing a cushion for our operations there."
Mr Chalermchai said the company's new-builds are currently under construction in China and are scheduled to join its fleet in 2016, creating room for further earnings growth.
As at 12.05pm, the counter stood at S$0.35, down one and a half cents, with 1.12 million shares changing hands.