Geo Week News

March 12, 2014

Blom ASA reports flat sales, $10 mil’ loss for 2013


Aerial imaging firm’s restructuring cuts workforce by 50%, asset value by 73%

3D aerial imaging and surveying firm, Blom ASA, said its 2013 financial results, including flat sales of NOK 265 million ($44.5 million) and a NOK 59.4 million ($10 million) loss, “are not satisfactory.”

Oslo, Norway-based Blom (OSE: BLO) has gone through extensive financial and operational restructuring in 2012 and 2013 to improve profitability due to prevailing market conditions in parts of Europe in recent years.

As part of its two-year restructuring, Blom’s assets have been subjected to substantial depreciation and write-downs, and the company’s total assets have been reduced 73 percent, from NOK 590 million ($99 million) to NOK 162 million ($27.2 million).

50% Cut in Workforce
The restructuring has led to the sale and closing of certain subsidiaries, resulting in a more than 50 percent cut in the company’s workforce. Just 207 employees remained in Blom’s operative companies as of Dec. 31.

Given the current market conditions in the Nordic region, Blom said it is looking for new markets with better growth opportunities. The company also reduced its exposure in Iberia, where “challenging macroeconomic conditions” continue. In addition, Blom signed an agreement in November to sell its subsidiary Blom Romania SRL to limit its commercial exposure in Eastern Europe.

Q4 2013 Results
The company reported a fourth-quarter, pre-tax loss of 9 million Norwegian kroner, or (US$1.5 million) on revenues of 52 million (NOK) (US$8.7 million), a 15 percent drop compared to the same quarter in 2012.

EBITDA for the fourth quarter was up 23 percent to NOK 16 million ($2.7 million), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 30.8 percent, compared with 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. The operating loss for the quarter was NOK 7 million ($1.2 million), compared with an operating profit of NOK 3 million ($504,000) for the same period in 2012.

Major Contract
Citing proof of its ability to develop new business based on its core competence, Blom said it signed a two-year contract in February with Viking Supply Ships AS (VSS) for the delivery of airborne remote sensor services in 2014 and 2015 for ice monitoring in northern waters. The contract is expected to generate annual revenues of NOK 35 ($5.9 million) to 50 million ($8.4 million), with “satisfactory margins,” Blom said. The contract gives VSS an option for two additional years under certain conditions, Blom said.

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