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James Fisher steers towards positive outlook

Marine Support and Specialist Technical businesses are anticipated to be more weighted to the second half this year

oil tanker
Performance of James Fisher's tankships and offshore oil divisions was said to be “well ahead”

Marine engineer James Fisher & Sons plc (LON:FSJ) reported a strong performance from its tankships and offshore oil divisions in the first quarter.

Ahead of its annual shareholder meeting, the FTSE 250 group said in a short statement that overall trading was in line with management expectations.

The board said it considers that the group's outlook for the year “remains positive” and that the company continues to be “well placed to provide further growth”. In February’s final results, directors said they had a “high degree of confidence for the year ahead”, citing a “strong pipeline” of opportunities at the start of the year.

In Thursday’s update, the financial performance of Tankships and Offshore Oil was said to be “well ahead” of last year, having respectively generated close to £61mln and £62mln in 2018.

The Marine Support and Specialist Technical businesses are anticipated to be more weighted to the second half this year, which was said to be due to the timing of projects.

Within Marine Support, there were two bolt-on acquisitions completed in the period for a total cost of just under £18mln. The renewables business won its first contract at the 90-turbine Triton Knoll windfarm being built offshore Lincolnshire, while elsewhere a 15-year contract was won with the Greater Gabbard windfarm.

In the Specialist Technical unit, pipeline opportunities were said to remains strong, following a year that was boosted by the assembly and delivery of two submarine rescue vessels, winning a first significant order for six swimmer delivery vessels and ongoing submarine work for the Singapore navy.

Fisher shares, which hit an all-time high in March, were up 0.7% on Thursday to 1,974p.

Quick facts: James Fisher & Sons PLC

Price: 2000 GBX

LSE:FSJ
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.01 billion
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