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Marine Log

February 6, 2008

Bourbon extends its strategic horizon

Paris-headquartered Bourbon has unrolled a new look strategic plan, called Horizon 2012, that will again see it increase its newbuilding and recruitment programs. As well as adding new offshore vessels and ROV's it will invest 300 million euros in 16 newbuildings for its Bulk Division.

Essentially, the plan extends Bourbon's strategic planning horizon from 2010 to 2012.

Bourbon's earlier Horizon 2010 strategy was developed at the end of 2005, against a background of strong demand from oil companies, who were set to make massive investments in the offshore arena to extend reserves and develop production. At that time, Bourbon had three divisions: Offshore, Towage and Salvage, and Bulk.

Today, Bourbon expects that oil and gas investments to be higher than initial estimates but says that growth has been slowed by bottlenecks at equipment suppliers. Oil field investments are expected to be spread out over time and generate a positive extension of the production cycle. Bourbon has more maneuvering room to respond, following the recently completed sale of its port towage business. It now has two divisions: Offshore (which now includes the salvage business of Les Abeilles International), and Bulk Transport.

The new Horizon 2012 plan, covering the five years from 2008 to 2012, is characterized by:

  • expected average annual revenue growth of 17 percent, including 21 percent for the Offshore Division,

  • a large increase in the number of vessels,

  • a ratio of EBITDA (Gross Operating Income) to average capital employed of 18 percent in 2012,

  • investment, in addition to the installments paid in 2007, of 2 billion euros, 85 percent of which will be devoted to the Offshore Division and largely financed by cash flow.

Within the Offshore Division, Horizon 2012 calls for:

  • integration and development of a new "Subsea Services" activity, resulting in a new organization for the Division:

  • expected average annual revenue growth of 21 percent a year for the Offshore Division, including 17 percent for the Marine Services Activity and 38 percent for the Subsea Services Activity,

  • investment of 1.7 billion euros, in addition to the installments paid in 2007, essentially for the expansion of the fleet of Offshore vessels and ROVs--including 10 GPA 696 type IMR (inspection, maintenance and repair) vessels ordered at the beginning of 2008 at a cost of 450 million euros.

In the Bulk Division, in a favorable environment, Bourbon's goal within the next 5 years is to strengthen its position as a shipowner and expand its line of bulk carriers to better meet the needs of its industrial clients.

The Horizon 2012 plan for the Bulk Division is characterized by expected revenue growth of 7 percent a year and investment of 300 million euros for 16 new bulk carriers (4 Panamax, 11 Supramax and 1 Cement carrier).

Nearly 5,000 new employees will join Bourbon by 2012, more than doubling its current workforce. Measures already taken to achieve previous recruitment and training objectives will be expanded to meet the challenges in the offshore sector: to recruit the best candidates and train all employees to guarantee the Bourbon Standard of Expertise in cooperation with the DNV.

The policy of building in series is logically being applied to the Subsea Services Activity, where an order for 10 next-generation IMR vessels has been placed with competitive shipyards in order to optimize construction and maintenance costs.

By 2012, Bourbon intends to become the leader in modern offshore oil and gas marine services, by offering to the most demanding oil and gas clients worldwide a full line of new generation, innovative, high performance vessels and an expanded offer of subsea services.

Bourbon continues to protect the French coastline with its vessels chartered by the French Navy, and is developing its bulk transport business for industrial groups within long-term contract relations.


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