CLYDE Union, the Glasgow engineering firm formerly owned by Jim McColl’s Clyde Blowers Capital, has seen losses widen by nearly £10 million and shed more than 140 jobs as it remained mired in the global oil and gas industry downturn.

The oil and gas-focused company, which North Carolina-based SPX acquired from Clyde Blowers for £750m in 2011, reported a £12.4m loss for the year ended December 31, accounts newly available at Companies House reveal. It follows a £1.5m loss the year before.

Losses widened as staff numbers continued to fall at Cathcart-based Clyde Union. According to the accounts, the company employed an average of 402 staff in 2016, down from 547 the prior year. The most recent fall in staff numbers came after Clyde Union had warned in its 2015 accounts, posted in October last year, that a consultation process over redundancies had started in March 2016. That came as the firm highlighted delays relating to “a number of large value contracts” in the oil and gas sector. At the time, the company said that 132 roles “have since been impacted”. The company had employed nearly 2,000 staff worldwide at the time of the SPX deal, with around 900 based in Cathcart.

“Looking back at 2016, we experienced a continuation of the downturn in our key markets,” director Jeremy Smeltser writes in the new accounts. “Significantly, the recovery in upstream oil investment through upgrading and refurbishment did not materialise as expected. As a consequence, order input fell slightly against 2015, however, order book backlog increased by four per cent over prior year.”

While oil prices have begun to climb – it hit a two-year high of $63.58 per barrel yesterday having dipped below $30 in early 2016 – the effects of the downturn hit Clyde Union hard last year. Its accounts show that revenue plunged by 39 per cent to £45.2m, which the firm said was responsible for gross profit dropping by £14m to £3.8m.

As employee numbers fell, the company, which supplies pump products and services to the nuclear and fossil power, oil upstream and downstream, water and industrial sectors across the world, saw payroll costs fall to £15.7m over the period, down from £23.8m.

In spite of its difficulties, Mr Smeltser underlined the continuing support from parent group SPX Flow in the accounts. “The directors acknowledge the latest guidance on going concern,” he said.

“The company is a key part of SPX Flow Inc’s Power & Energy end market and has access to considerable financial resources by way of a corporate cash pooling account from which it can draw the necessary cash it requires.

“The directors have no concerns regarding the ability of the ultimate parent to provide such support.”

He added: “The directors have considered the trading outlook for the company and have taken account of reasonably possible changes in trading performance, and determined that the company has adequate resources for the foreseeable future and thus continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements.”

Clyde Union adds in the accounts that the UK’s vote to leave the European Union has “exposed the company to a new risk”, given that the firm “enters

into significant contracts to sell to and buy from EU companies and transacts in euros and US dollars”.

The firm notes: “This has been, and will continue to be given

due consideration by management.”