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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Barrow company’s profits soar by 11 per cent

A BARROW shipping firm has enjoyed “an excellent year” with profits up 11 per cent.

By Amy Fenton

James Fisher has published its annual results for 2011, which show revenue up 15 per cent from £268m to £307m and profits up 11 per cent to £36.1m.

The company, which employs 150 people in Barrow and a further 1,500 worldwide, saw earnings per share boosted by 16 per cent and dividends paid per share up by nine per cent.

Over the last five years, James Fisher has concentrated on fast-growing markets in regions like Asia Pacific.

Despite now undertaking “relatively little” business in continental Europe and North America - a move which has sheltered the company from ongoing economic issues, James Fisher bosses reiterated the company’s commitment to Barrow.

James Fisher’s chief executive, Tim Harris, said: “We are still as committed to being based in Barrow and employing local people and developing a skilled workforce.”

Some 25 per cent of the company’s profits go to the Sir John Fisher foundation – representing more than £1.3m for 2011. The foundation, which was set up by the grandson of the man who set up James Fisher, makes grants and donations to good causes across Cumbria and the North West.

Key contract wins for the company during 2011 included work to assess connections on wind turbines installed off the coast of Walney, an £11m contract to a modernise the Swedish navy’s submarine rescue vehicle and a five-year support services contract from BP.

Although he was unable to give specific details about the work, Mr Harris also revealed James Fisher’s nuclear division had won a contract to undertake work for the Olympics.

But the chief executive reiterated his disappointment at a nuclear shipping contract being handed to a Hampshire-based government services company after being managed by James Fisher for more than 30 years.

Mr Harris said: “As a local company, we were very disappointed to lose the INS (International Nuclear Solutions) contract after serving them for more than 30 years... However, James Fisher Nuclear is getting more support from Sellafield which we very much welcome.”

James Fisher was founded in 1847 and is Cumbria’s largest plc. The firm is split into divisions – defence, marine oil, offshore oil, shipping services and specialist technical services.

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