BOWLEVEN has posted another hefty annual loss as its new management team insisted the company has achieved a material transformation in its short time in charge.

Once a noted player in the oil and gas sector in Scotland, Bowleven lost $53.7 million (£41m) before tax in the year to 30 June compared with $129.3m in the preceding period.

The results cover a period during which the Crown Ocean Capital investment business incited a boardroom purge at Bowleven. This resulted in former chief executive Kevin Hart being voted off the board in March along with four other directors.

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Crown Ocean did not seek the removal of chief operating officer David Clarkson in March. He is a member of the new management team.

Led by turnaround expert Eli Chahin and corporate lawyer Chris Ashworth, the team has moved Bowleven’s head office from Edinburgh to London and cut around 30 jobs, 75 per cent of the former total.

Mr Ashworth, who became chairman in March, said Crown Ocean approached him and Mr Chahin around the turn of the year claiming Bowleven had destroyed significant shareholder value after incurring heavy losses under a strategy that involved costly exploration activity in Cameroon.

After leaving Bowleven Mr Hart said the company had found a lot of oil and gas off Cameroon in his ten years in charge but was frustrated by geopolitical factors.

Mr Ashworth said the tireless efforts of Mr Clarkson and Mr Chahin had allowed the group to achieve a material transformation in a short period. Bowleven’s overhead base has been substantially reduced with new exploration activity costs virtually eliminated.

Mr Chahin reckons Bowleven now has a fit-for-purpose organisation and business model that have the potential to deliver shareholder value.

It aims to maximise the value of the assets Bowleven amassed in Cameroon under previous management teams.

“The benefits of the relentless effort will be clearer into 2018,” added Mr Chahin.

The new management team has written down the value of Bowleven’s interest in the onshore Bomono licence to zero, resulting in a $45.6m impairment charge. Mr Chahin said a deal agreed by the former management team to sell an 80 per cent stake in Bomono to Victoria Oil and Gas provided limited financial value.

State-owned SNH has indicated support for appraisal drilling on the offshore Etinde permit, which contains undeveloped finds. Bowleven did not say if a date has been set for drilling to start.

Bowleven sold stakes in Etinde for $250m in 2014 under Mr Hart. It retains a 20 per cent interest.

The company had $86m cash and no debt at 30 June.

Bowleven’s running costs rose to $11.7m in the year to June, from $9.1m last time. A spokesman said the increase reflected one-off restructuring costs including redundancy payments.

Shares in Bowleven closed up 0.25p at 32.25p yesterday. They closed at 33.25p the day Mr Hart was voted off the board. Crown Ocean has a 26 per cent interest.