OIL and gas pipeline engineering specialist STATS has seen significant contracts deferred amid the fallout from the Covid 19 coronavirus crisis after suffering a fall in profits in the latest financial year.

The Aberdeenshire based firm revealed its per-tax profits fell to £0.2 million in 2019 from £2.5m in the preceding year. Revenues fell 10 per cent, to £39.1m, from £43.4m.

The company disclosed the figures in an update which provided further evidence of the challenges faced by companies in the oil and gas supply chain following the fall in commodity prices triggered by the Covid 19 coronavirus.

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This has prompted firms that operate oil and gas fields in basins such as the North Sea to slash discretionary spending.

STATS’ chief executive Leigh Howarth said: “As Covid 19 evolved into a global pandemic during the early part of 2020, this had an impact on our trading performance. Not surprisingly, several significant contracts which had been a long time in planning were postponed by our clients until later this year or 2021”

A spokesperson for STATS said a number of the projects concerned were in the UK North Sea but the company expected them to be completed in due course.

The company has not made any staff redundant this year. It employs 150 in Scotland and 115 in its overseas operations.

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Mr Howarth said STATS remained optimistic that activity levels in 2020 would be broadly consistent with those seen in 2019.

STATS noted that it has reduced its reliance on work in the North Sea by winning work in markets such as the USA.

The company moved to internationalise its business after winning backing from the BGF investment business in 2012.

Turnover was boosted in 2018 by revenues earned under the largest ever contract STAATS has completed. This was awarded by a major client based in Abu Dhabi.