We certainly weren’t alone in experiencing a challenging year as a business. Throughout the year we’ve discussed with many clients, suppliers, and other companies in the region the ups and downs associated with uncertainty in the business climate. Particularly during the first half of the year, this impacted the commencement of projects across the offshore sector other industries in which we work, and we saw a drop in revenue over the first quarters.
Contrasting this in the second half of the year, however, our team had a number of significant achievements with the export of services to Spain, Italy and Germany. This included work on a number of prestigious wind farms, further development of our naval architectural services, with under deck strength checks, and vessel modifications and submissions to class for several clients.
Then, earlier this month, we were delighted to be awarded with our 300th commercial contract, rounding off the year in a wonderfully positive manner. We also ended the month with another significant order, which has substantially reinforced our forward-looking order book for the start of 2020.
Despite the difficult start to this year though, we managed to maintain profitability and never lost our optimism for the start of the next year. With the recent General Election expected to provide some much-needed stability to the business environment, and the continuing (albeit slow) improvement in the oil and gas sector, our plans to expand into new geographical markets are on track. As early as March, for instance, we’re heading off to Wind Energy Asia, 2020, to develop our extensive offshore wind experience, and immerse ourselves in the local culture.
Outside of our day-to-day engineering, we continued our ongoing sponsorship of Olympic athlete, Mica McNeill, throughout 2019. In Autumn, we hosted a visit for ‘Team McNeill’, and the whole team is excited for the start of the 2020 season, as we build up towards the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
As with previous years, we have committed time and resources to the support of STEM activities across the North East of England. The Ardmore team also participated in a number of school visits, college placements, and participated at the excellent ‘Bring It On’ and ‘Stemtastic’ events. These fun, educational, engineering experiences brought both primary and secondary school pupils into contact with real engineering firms. It was a genuine pleasure to see them so enthused, engaged and entertained as they learned – perhaps a taste of their future for some of them.
We also sponsored the IMechE Undergraduate Design challenge in the North East, with members of our team sitting on the Teesside Senior and Young Members Panel, the North East Committee, and the newly formed Engineering Together (North East Community of Professional Engineering) Tees Valley panel.
Finally, we truly hope that all of our clients who celebrate Christmas have had a great time, and wish all of our suppliers, clients, friends, and contacts a happy and prosperous New Year.
Here’s to a successful 2020 for us all!!