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Axis on the rise with plans to grow workforce

AMBITIOUS engineering consultancy Axis Well Technology has announced plans to grow its workforce by 20% after securing several new business wins and contract extensions in recent weeks.

The company, which has already hired 10 people this year to take its head count to around 150, provides a range of oil and gas services, including petroleum and subsea engineering, well technology and equipment testing.

Axis, bought by private equity house Elysian Capital in May last year, indicated it had received 15 extensions from existing clients, as well as seven new contract wins. It declined to name specific customers but said the combined value of the deals ran into millions of pounds and it had further prospects in its pipeline. As a result, it wants to add 30 more staff at its bases in Westhill and the Bridge of Don area of Aberdeen.

Axis opened a London office in August last year as it began to gear up to extend its international presence. It operates across more than 20 countries at present.

Jim Anderson, who founded the business in 2001 and remains its chief executive, said: "Our recently opened London office, and expansion of the Aberdeen [headquarters] will help us provide continued support and a fully integrated service offering to our clients.

"Our healthy order book for 2014 will see us execute work in Kenya, Qatar, Canada, Poland and Abu Dhabi, providing operators with a full range of integrated consultancy services covering reservoir development through the full life cycle, including decommissioning of wells."

One area Axis is expecting strong results from this year is the east coast of Canada.

The company said it was assisting different operators working off the coast of British Columbia.

Again Axis would not confirm any of the specific customers it was working with.

Mr Anderson added: "Our work in Canada is providing significant growth opportunities for us in our petroleum engineering and well operations offering, which is fantastic news for the company.

"This, combined with high demand for our subsurface consultancy expertise in Aberdeen and London, proves we are off to a good start in our current financial year.

"The demand for our services is strong, as the business continues to win contracts with major operators and national oil companies, enhancing the company's growth forecasts for the year ahead."

The most recent annual accounts for Axis Well Technology show its turnover grew from £17.2 million to £21.1m in the 12 months to January 31, 2013.

Pre-tax profits increased from £2.8m to £3.5m while the business also had net funds of more than £5m on its balance sheet. The parent company of the business is listed as Axis Well Technology Group, which is registered in London at the same address as Elysian Capital and has not yet filed any accounts.

Elysian, co-founded by healthcare entrepreneur Chai Patel and former Doughty Hanson partner Ken Terry, also has investments in subsea cabling specialist Tekmar, automotive supplier Volvox, life sciences firm Accelyon and healthcare IT company Wellbeing Software Group.

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