Bourbon reports strong growth in 2007

In a conference call held Aug. 30, 2007, Jacques de Chateauvieux, chairman and CEO of Bourbon, said the company is reaping the benefits of what he called, "an extremely buoyant offshore market."

Judy Maksoud
International Editor

PARIS -- In a conference call held Aug. 30, 2007, Jacques de Chateauvieux, chairman and CEO of Bourbon, said the company is reaping the benefits of what he called, "an extremely buoyant offshore market."

Bourbon provides service in three segments: offshore oil and gas, towage and salvage, and bulk shipping.

In the first half 2007, the company recorded revenues of €371 million ($505 million ), up 29.7% over the same period in 2006, according to the mid-year report. This growth, Chateauvieux said, was generated primarily by revenue growth in the offshore division and higher freight rates for the bulk division.

Revenues generated by the offshore division amounted to €231.4 million ($315 million), an increase of 28.3% over the first half 2006. This growth was driven in great part by a very favorable market, steady deliveries of new vessels, and sustained growth in North Sea, African, and Asian operations, Chateauvieux said. "The market is very strong, especially for the new vessels," he said.

Bourbon took delivery of 15 new vessels in the first half of 2007 and expects to add another five supply vessels and 20 crew boats before year-end. Almost all of the new vessels are under long-term contracts. The challenge, Chateauvieux said, will be hiring and training personnel to man the newbuilds. Bourbon hired 214 new employees in the first half of 2007 and will need to hire many more to meet the company's growing need, he said.

"The prospect for offshore is good," Chateauvieux said, noting that offshore division operations will benefit progressively from the vessels to be delivered during the second half of the year.

Bourbon's strategic plan is to become by 2010 the leader in modern offshore oil and gas marine services by offering the most demanding international clients worldwide the services of a full line of new generation, innovative and high-performance vessels, the company says.

8/30/2007

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