These are the 10 biggest service vessel companies in Norway

Constant advances happening on the service vessel front.

In collaboration with Rambøll consultant Einar Stephansen – SalmonBusiness is publishing an overview of the biggest service vessel companies in Norway. [factbox]

“The service vessel industry is undergoing dynamic growth. A year ago we had an overview of 273 service vessels working for marine farming operations. Now we have 325 vessels in 65 companies on our lists,” Einar Stephansen tells SalmonBusiness, adding that 30 new service vessels have been added to the list so far this year.

The ten largest companies in the service vessel industry are ranked on the basis of number of vessels and turnover. According to Stephansen, the ten largest companies operate 173 vessels, and account for two-thirds of revenue earned in the service vessel industry.

Gåsø on top
Frøy-gruppen reigns supreme. The majority of Frøy-gruppen is owned by Gåsø Næringsutvikling, Helge Gåsø’s holding company. Through the shipping companies in the Frøy group with the subsidiaries in Frøy Akvaservice, Gåsø controls 62 vessels. A year ago, that figure was 49.

“Growth has mainly occurred through the acquisition of NCE (nine ships, journalist note) and Seadive (four vessels, journalist note). Gåsø has two additional vessels on order. In 2016, turnover for the Frøy Akvaservice group was just under 52.9 million euros. For 2017, we have calculated operating revenues, including acquired companies, at 74 million euros. This accounts for 30 percent of the total revenue earned in the service boat industry,” said Stephansen.

Weaker profitability for Abyss Aqua
In second place we find the Flatanger company AQS. The company controls 14 vessels and had a turnover of 17 million euros in 2017. In April the news broke that KB Dykk, which has nine vessels and attained a turnover of 11.8 million euros in 2017, would be merged into the company. After the merger the company thus controls 23 vessels and achieved 28.8 million euros in turnover in 2017.

“AQS Tyr” is a multi-purpose vessel fitted out for all types of service assignments in the marine farming industry. PHOTO: AQS

Another major player is Abyss Aqua, based in Kristiansund. The company has 15 vessels, and will add three more vessels to its fleet in the course of 2018.

“Turnover in 2017 totalled 14.2 million euros, an increase of 1.6 million euros on 2016. Their books show increased activity, but profitability has declined,” said Stephansen.

“Fosna Amon” is leased by Abyss Aqua through Moen Ship Management. PHOTO: Moen Marin

– The five biggest companies dominate the service vessel industry
Only just missing out from the winners’ podium is FSV Group from Molde. Since 2011, the company has acquired and received ten vessels, and has two on order. Turnover in 2016 was 9.9 million euros, which is expected to have increased to 13.2 million euros in 2017.

“Mini Server”. PHOTO: FSV Group

Another company that missed out on the podium and landed in fifth place, is AKVA Group’s subsidiary, AKVA Marine Service. The group’s annual accounts do not show AKVA Marine Service’s figures, but Stephansen estimates its turnover to be 11.1 million euros in 2017.

“With 142 vessels in operation and on order, the five biggest companies dominate the service vessel industry. We have calculated the total operating revenue at 141.7 million euros, and that accounts for 55 percent of the revenue for the service vessel industry,” said Stephansen.

Sizeable gap
But there is a considerable gap between the five biggest and the next five. Closest is Finnsnes Dykk & Anleggsservice. The company operated five vessels in 2016 and had a turnover of 5.8 million euros. In 2017, the shipping company added a vessel to its fleet and Rambøll expects revenue to improve to 7.4 million euros.

“Emilie”. PHOTO: Kenneth Aarberg/Finnsnes Dykk & Anleggservice

Number seven on the list is Samba, which is located at Lepsøy, Os in Hordaland County. The company owns four vessels and has two on order for delivery this year. Turnover totalled 5.8 million euros in 2016.

“We have estimated operating revenues at 7.3 million euros in 2017. We are unable to confirm the figure as the company has been restructured. For 2017, only the accounts for the newly launched Samba Marine – registered in October last year – will be published, ,” explained Stephansen.

Then follows Bra-Vask, located at Herøy, with five vessels and a turnover of 5.6 million euros in 2016. Anticipated revenue in 2017 is 6.6 million euros. Lerow from Dolmøya on the island of Hitra controls nine vessels and achieved turnover of 6.3 million euros in 2016. Turnover for 2017 is expected to remain the same.

Last, but by no means least, on the top 10 list is Trollvika Drift from Grovfjord in Troms. The company had a turnover of 4.3 million euros in 2016, which is estimated to improve slightly in 2017.

Total turnover for the companies listed from six to 10 amounts to 31.7 million euros. That accounts for 12 percent of the service boat industry’s total operating income, “said Stephansen.

Developments in profitability next for scrutiny
According to Stephansen, the next step in the analysis is to look at developments in profitability.

“The analyses indicate so far that 50 new vessels have been phased in that are in full operation. In 2016, both turnover and earnings had been strengthened after phasing in the same number of new vessels. An important point for consideration in the analysis for 2017 will be if profitability has been strengthened for this year also. However, we don’t think that’s the case for 2017,” he concluded.


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