Engineering design and analysis service company Apollo Offshore Engineering is on track for significant expansion – with a doubling of turnover and a major increase in staff.
And to facilitate a rapidly-growing order book the company has moved into new premises at Aberdeen’s Waterloo Quay.
Apollo has developed apace since its creation – at the height of the global financial crisis in 2010 – and its directors exercised endeavour and prudence from the outset, working as consultants by day and creators of the business by night and at weekends.
Managing Director Jonathan D’Arcy said: “The initial focus was on early revenue because we understood that Apollo would have to support itself financially from the word go if it was to be the sustainable business of our vision. Our strategy was to maximise cashflow and build capital until accumulated reserves allowed business premises to be leased and staff employed.”
From a standing start the company now employs 40 staff. In its last financial year, to September 2012, revenue increased by 400% and is set to double to over £3m this financial year, which is in line with a domestic and international growth plan to employ 100 staff and generate profitable revenue of £10m by the end of 2015.
A key tenet in the company’s growth plan has been its recruitment strategy in what is an increasingly constricted market, and its ability to look beyond obvious parameters.
And this is something that is endorsed by Subsea UK chief executive Neil Gordon. He said: “With the oil and gas industry continuing to be in robust health, highly skilled companies like Apollo are key to the industry’s ability to meet the increasing market demand for hydrocarbon resources.”
Mr Gordon, who will open Apollo’s new Aberdeen office on Thursday, May 30, added: “The challenge for Apollo and others is growth in a tight labour market, something that Apollo has addressed by casting a wide net to recruit engineers from other industries.”
Mr D’Arcy said: “Engineers in industries like construction and aerospace among others use many of the same engineering methods and technologies, and we’ve found that they become highly effective after a short period of acclimatisation to the challenges of the oil and gas industry.
“The recruitment of highly-skilled staff has been very challenging because of a shortage of experienced oil and gas engineers, but our vision and values have enabled us to compete by offering variety, challenge, excitement and personal and professional development opportunity driven by growth.
“From the outset we wanted to have a company where commercial pressures were secondary to delivering safe solutions and each of our staff is imbued with our desire for excellence without cutting corners.”
Its relocation to larger premises – from Navigator House to Nautilus House – is a significant step in the company’s overall vision of development and expansion, and will allow the Aberdeen team to increase in size from its current 30 staff to upwards of 50 in 2015.
Mr D’Arcy said: “In addition to the development of our Aberdeen facility, we are also experiencing high demand in the South-east of England which is putting sufficient growth pressure on our London and Nottingham teams to require expansion in that region this summer, and excitingly Apollo is on track to open its first international office later this year.”
The company is led by Mr D’Arcy and Support Director, Steve Leaper, Operations Director, Ryan Menzies and Engineering Director, Richard Bell.