February 17, 2020 @ 16:12 by Richard Dawson
Express Engineering, which specialises in subsea manufacturing, is planning to invest and recruit heavily in 2020 to meet growing demand in the oil and gas sector.
After a strong financial year, the company is investing £3.5 million into a new 48,000 sq ft assembly and test facility near its Gateshead headquarters in Team Valley. It is thought that 30 jobs will be created in the process.
Since refocussing its business strategy in 2018, Express Engineering has seen soaring revenues of around £20 million in 2019, with a target to reach £40 million this year.
The company has created around 100 jobs in the last 12 months taking the total workforce to more than 235. The growth coincides with the appointment of a management team, which features Express’ original owner, Chris Thompson.
Now chairman of Express Engineering, Chris said: “Shortly after re-joining the company late in 2018 we took the decision to move away from a diversification strategy to refocus around the subsea oil and gas sector, where we made our reputation before the market collapsed in 2015.
“We’re well placed to take advantage of increasing enquiry activity and order levels in a recovering oil and gas sector.
“Based on current projections we see no reason why we cannot reach record revenues in two years’ time.”
The optimism is based on market intelligence which points towards a positive outlook for subsea ‘tree’ awards over the next few years. This puts Express in a good position vis-à-vis customers in the subsea equipment sector.
Outsourcing and supply chain management will also be a key part of the accelerated growth strategy moving forward.
Managing director Gary Thirlwell explained: “We are transforming the business through an experienced management team, a new product strategy and an investment in infrastructure.
“It’s also fair to say we’re in the right place at the right time – we have the capacity and expertise to be able to respond to market demand.
“We currently have an order book of more than £40 million for core products and connection systems. The pipeline for future business looks very strong, ensuring we continue to grow and strengthen our financial position.”