James Fisher warns expected improvement didn’t materialise in Q3

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James Fisher & Sons PLC (LON:FSJ) shares fell on the back foot in Friday’s early deals as it told investors that third-quarter trading continued to be challenging.

The engineering services company acknowledged that in the three months ended September 30 it did not see the improvement to trading conditions and the seasonal uplift it had been anticipating.

As a result, revenue was down 17% for the nine-month period, compared to the previous year.

The company noted project delays and cancellations – both in oil and gas as well as renewables – which have impacted its marine support business. Further restructuring is taking place within that business unit and the company said the carrying value of the unit was now under review.

Elsewhere in its business, the company said it had “performed with resilience”.

“Within Marine Support, ship-to-ship traded in line with our expectations in the quarter,” the company said in the statement.

“In specialist technical, good progress was made on approval and testing milestones on the supply of six swimmer delivery vehicles and separately a 500-metre saturation diving system. 

“Offshore oil remained resilient in the quarter and performed in line with management expectations.

“Tankships improved month on month following the sharp drop in utilisation in April due to lockdown, and fleet utilisation was just below 90% in September.”

The company noted net borrowings are in line with expectations, at September 30 it had £96mln of headroom including revolving credit facilities.

Share dropped around 11.5% in Friday’s changing hands at 953p in early deals.

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