InfraStrata plc (AIM: INFA), the UK quoted company focused on strategic energy infrastructure, fabrication, shipbuilding and vessel repairs is pleased to provide a trading update for the 11-month period to 30 June 2021.
Macro-economic recovery, directly translating into increasing contract values and higher client spend; Revenues of circa GBP9 million booked; cGBP3 million of which was booked in the latest quarter; Growth momentum established within the renewables, cruise & ferry and defence markets.
Company's single largest contract award to date announced in April 2021; GBP27 million from Saipem for the fabrication of wind turbine generator jacket structures for the NNG project in Scotland; potential for this contract to grow
Successful equity placing and open-offer conducted in May 2021; cGBP12 million raised (pre costs); for a combination of performance bonds for the jackets contract, capex and general working capital; Company is performing in line to meet expectations on revenues for the 17 month period ended 31st Dec 2021
Cruise & Ferry Market
The cruise and ferry market is now starting to move again and we expect to see a number of cruise vessels preparing for cruising over the summer and into Q4. Conversations are already well underway with a number of clients for dry docking bookings. To that extent, we are pleased to welcome the P&O Azura into Belfast's ship repair quay. She is expected to dock on 1st July and will remain with us for a few months for minor repairs. Discussions are currently ongoing on the scope, timing and value of works. We anticipate signing additional cruise clients for simultaneous multiple dockings in Q3 and Q4 of this calendar year.
We have rolled out an innovative financing programme for our cruise clients in conjunction with external partners. This financing programme allows overseas cruise clients to conduct large value works programmes at Harland & Wolff (Belfast) with the ability to benefit from competitive long-term finance whilst enabling Harland & Wolff to be paid as works progress.
The ferry market continues to grow, with contract values now between around GBP800,000 and GBP1 million on average. As the economy opens up and ferry owners see growth in passenger and cargo volumes, we expect to see a lot more high-value work being undertaken. We are currently negotiating several multi-ship deals with different operators and expect the ferry market to continue to create a substantial baseload of work for the Company.
Having announced the Company's first major fabrication contract in April, we have already started preparatory works for the commencement of fabrication. A notice to proceed was recently issued by Saipem after all the conditions precedent to commencement of fabrication were duly met. This marks the completion of our first milestone, and we are now ready to commence fabrication, a month ahead of schedule.
Given the level of inquiries in renewables, some of which are highly advanced, we have taken a conscious decision to prioritise projects that have the highest probability of success and revenue generation potential. To that extent, the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the fabrication of the Windfarm Development Vessel (WDV) for Triumph Subsea Services Ltd (Triumph), announced in December 2020, has been set aside for the time being as we do not have a high enough level of confidence in this project progressing to speculatively invest heavily in it at this time. Clearly, we will continue to evaluate the position as we move forward and will only consider the best fit of projects for the yards that provide the optimum economic outcomes for the Company.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formally launched its competition for the FSS Programme. The first stage is the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and we will continue to work through the various stages of this opportunity over the coming months. With its vast fabrication halls and the largest building dock in the UK, Harland & Wolff is ideally positioned to undertake this project given the high workloads currently being experienced by the other defence newbuild yards in the UK.
We continue to pursue further opportunities in the defence sector including the M55 project and the multi-year docking works for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. Harland & Wolff recently had an independent third-party report commissioned, confirming our ability as one of only two yards that is suitable for docking vessels of this size.
With the government's new national shipbuilding strategy set to be announced shortly, we believe that we are well positioned to capitalise on it, with the emphasis expected to be on building more vessels in the UK. With over one hundred vessels due to be replaced over the next decade across all government departments, this bodes well for future shipbuilding in the UK. In addition, we are seeing a substantial increase in enquiries for vessels associated with the offshore renewables industry and there is a desire to incorporate as much UK content in each of these projects as possible.
Whilst conventional energy has had a difficult year, we are now starting to see enquiries focusing on repurposing of facilities and electrification of existing assets to complement the growing portfolio of offshore wind farms in the North Sea. We will continue to actively pursue these exciting projects as they develop. The Company expects a modest recovery in this market in 2021, with more robust activity and contracts in 2022 as the global economy normalises.
Islandmagee gas storage project
Given the current political upheavals in Northern Ireland, the Marine Construction Licence continues to await the approval of the Minister for DAERA, and there is little that can be done by the Company to move the process along at this time.
However, from a commercial standpoint, the Company continues to future-proof the project and is preparing its representation to the Department of the Economy (DfE) for the transition of the natural gas storage project into hydrogen storage in years to come, subject to approvals. The Company believes that, in order to provide for the security of energy supply in future years, the gas store will be used, initially, for the storage of natural gas, followed by a blend of natural gas and hydrogen and, finally, leading to the storage of large volumes of hydrogen when hydrogen production levels increase. The Company continues to believe that the Islandmagee gas storage project will become an invaluable asset in the country's future hydrogen-based economy.
The Company has formally withdrawn from the proposed FSRU project in Barrow in Furness. The energy complex has undergone a fundamental shift towards renewables and hydrogen over the past 18 months. The Company no longer sees a business case for an FSRU project, preferring to focus attention and resources on revenue generation within the Harland & Wolff Group of companies.
John Wood, CEO of InfraStrata commented: 'We continue to make solid commercial progress and we are building a significant pipeline of opportunities with a near-term focus on renewables, defence and cruise & ferry, where we are seeing the most traction.
The Saipem fabrication contract is a real game changer for InfraStrata and provides a solid platform for us to grow the renewables side of our business, as is welcoming the first vessel from Carnival UK.
Our current focus is absolutely clear: to convert opportunities to contracts as quickly as possible and increase organic cashflows so as to be in an annualised cash break-even position by the end of the current calendar year.'
Tel: +44 (0)20 3900 2122
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