Energy recruitment specialist AGR is to expand into the US in the next phase of a strategy to cover all of the world's major drilling zones.

The firm's planned office in Houston, Texas, set to open in February 2015, will be their second international venture following the opening of an office in Dubai in 2012. It is likely to be followed with an office in Perth, Western Australia later in the same year.

AGR - Advance Global Recruitment - was formed in Edinburgh in 2011 by Stuart Hunter and Cameron Taylor, two young Edinburgh-based employees of a nationwide construction recruitment firm. Last year AGR, which now employs 15 people, achieved sales of £5 million, with £800,000 gross profit. Expectations for 2014 are of sales £9m, with £1.5 gross profit.

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AGR specialises in three of the subsea sectors of the oil and gas industry: remotely operated vehicles, survey and inspection, and drilling. It recruits both on short term (80% of its business) and permanent contracts (20%).

Hunter told the Sunday Herald the firm's success was built on "hard work and focussing on hiring the correct staff". He said the company's development was in line with a growing professionalisation of the recruitment industry and its moving away from a sales-led culture.