Mermaid Maritime's bottom-line dives into the red

SINGAPORE - The downturn in the offshore services sector has hit Mermaid Maritime Public Co hard, with the company reporting a net loss of US$15.8 million (S$21 million) for the first quarter.

This was a drastic reversal from a net profit of US$5.2 million in the same period last year.

Total income for the three months to March 31 fell by 5.5 per cent to US$60.9 million.

Subsea group reported service income of US$60.8 million, an increase of US$6 million or 10.9 per cent, compared to the same period as last year.

The increase mainly from new cable laying projects in middle east region even though three high performing vessels were left idle for dry docking almost throughout the period.

Loss per share amounted to 1.12 US cents, reversing from earnings of 0.37 US cent previously.

Net asset value per share eased to 38 US cents compared to 40 US cents as at Dec 31.

On its prospects, Mermaid noted that the oil and gas industry remains challenging, given the sharply lower oil price environment.

Meanwhile, significant newbuilds coming to market will further add to market pressures, forcing weak competitors to exit or go out of business.

"Notwithstanding the quarter's weak results, the group remains relatively resilient, given its niche service focus on the lower oil cost producing oilfields and production," said Mermaid.

It remains cautiously optimistic on overall competitive position underpinned by net order book of US$443 million - excluding Asia Offshore Drilling contract - for work stretching to 2018.