Bourbon Profit Hit by Oil Price Slump, 2015 Margins On Deck

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March 4, 2015
File photo of Bourbon Front courtesy Bourbon Offshore Norway
File photo of Bourbon Front courtesy Bourbon Offshore Norway
By Tara Patel

(Bloomberg) — Bourbon SA, a French supplier of ships and crew to oil and natural gas producers, said margins may drop this year following a 36 percent profit slump in 2014 as customers reduce investment.

“A significant decline in the price of oil in the second half of 2014 has further affected investments by oil and gas companies and deepened their cost-cutting measures,” the Paris- based company said in a statement. Bourbon “anticipates a stable or slight decrease in revenues for 2015.”

Bourbon is the latest oil-services company to warn that the crash in crude prices may hurt business this year as customers delay or cancel exploration and development projects. The industry has cut more than $40 billion in spending and eliminated about 100,000 jobs globally to weather the downturn.

In France, seismic surveyor CGG SA said last month it would cut its fleet, jobs and spending after reporting a fourth- quarter loss.

Bourbon, which operates ships serving offshore oil platforms, said it has reinforced a plan to lower costs and may revise the timing and level of vessel sales. It may also delay meeting targets to reduce certain debt ratios.

Last year, net income declined to 73.7 million euros ($82.5 million), from a restated 115 million euros, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The dividend was kept at 1 euro a share.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or Ebitda, fell 22 percent to 450 million euros. Ebitdar, which also includes rent costs, rose as a proportion of revenue to 36.1 percent, from 34.3 percent a year earlier. The ratio may drop this year, Bourbon said.

The company added 20 vessels to its operated fleet, bringing the total to 505 at the end of last year. The average utilization rate dropped 2.3 percentage points to 81 percent for the year.

Copyright 2015 Bloomberg.

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