The TOP75:

RANK:

20

GARDLINE SHIPPING

Website: Gardline.com

Location: Great Yarmouth

Gardline comprises organisations involved in a range of activities such as marine sciences, ship building, dry dock engineering, digital mapping, and satellite communications.

2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
£157,523 £166,848 £141,930 £100,311 £64,716
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
1,182 1,219 1,186 1,029 790
2011 2010 2009
£14,213 £21,250 £30,109
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
20 16 20 26 44

*Financial figures in GBP£000's

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Gardline was founded in 1969 to provide marine services to the oil and gas industry. Since then, it has grown and expanded into a range of businesses under the Gardline Shipping umbrella to include satellite communications, security, ship building, geographical information systems, digital mapping and vessel hire.

The firm is expecting to see a large rise in business and profits this year after a slight downturn over the previous 12 months. Chairman Gregory Darling said that the Great Yarmouth group expected turnover to April 30 to reach £200m.

He said that this would allow a "relatively high level of continued re-investment", including a major survey ship conversion, the continuing production of aluminium catamarans and the development of overseas business.

Gardline also took on about 50 staff in the past year, bringing the total well above 1,200

"Despite some difficulties in some market sectors, the group continues to grow steadily, with a significant improvement overall, including staff numbers, when compared to the previous year," he said. "Investment, particularly in marine assets such as ships and technical equipment, continues at an all time high.

"Those investments have resulted in more work, growth and staff numbers, with improved performance for 2010/11 in prospect," he added. An example of that investment is the purchase and £10m conversion of an ex-seismic vessel in 2009 for geotechnical drilling. The Ocean Discovery is now equipped with a drilling system which has resulted in new business. The ship began work in the North Sea before spending last winter in the Caribbean, where she remains working this year.