(Alliance News) - Harland & Wolff Group Holdings PLC on Friday said its loss widened in its latest half year despite a 65% revenue boost, but maintained its confident outlook amid "increasingly exciting times".
Harland & Wolff shares were down 9.9% at 13.74 pence in London on Friday morning.
The London-based fabrication company, which serves the maritime and offshore industries from yards in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, reported a GBP31.5 million pretax loss for the first half of 2023 compared with a GBP17.6 million loss the prior year.
Revenue increased 65% to GBP25.5 million from GBP15.4 million. Cost of sales increased 71% to GBP20.6 million, while management and administrative expenses increased 29% to GBP21.1 million and finance costs more than tripled to GBP13.8 million.
Harland & Wolff also made a GBP15.9 million loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, widened from GBP12.7 million, which it said was mainly due to investments in its headcount to prepare for various contract deliveries.
"The group's workforce has scaled rapidly and now totals some 780 employees and the group is proud to be putting British shipbuilding back on the map," commented Chief Executive Officer John Wood.
Harland & Wolff expects its multi-year fleet solid support contract, executed with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia in February, to generate between GBP700 and GBP800 million in revenue over its lifespan. Wood said the deal will "result in a transformation at Belfast which will become one of the most modern shipyards from both a national and global perspective."
As for the current year, it said overall trading remains on track to achieve GBP100 million in revenue for the whole of 2023, and reiterated its 2024 guidance of GBP200 million.
"These are increasingly exciting times at Harland & Wolff - not just from a broad company perspective - but for each of our yards, the communities that they serve and of course, our workforce," said Wood.
He continued: "Like all businesses, we face challenges - from procurement cycles to wage and energy inflation - but the worst of the inflationary effects would appear now to be behind us, and we look forward to increasing our margins as we build out our rapidly growing order book.
"We have our foot hard on the pedal and are intent on delivering the goals we have laid out. It is full steam ahead at Harland & Wolff."
By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter
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