BV Reports Further Growth

Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Bureau Veritas has posted annual results which show the eight consecutive year of annual growth averaging over 17 percent. Turnover of the Bureau Veritas group for 2003 was Euro1.283bn (US$1.51bn), up 12 per cent on 2002. EBIT grew 25 per cent to Euro155.4m ($183m). Consolidated net profit grew 10 per cent to Euro95.9m (US$113m). Final results are subject to confirmation by the general assembly at the end of June. Since 1995 the group turnover has multiplied by almost four times. Its skilled workforce has been increased from 6,000 to over 19,000 today. Bureau Veritas is now the world leader in certification and inspection services to industry. This group area includes services to the energy and offshore industries. Consumer product certification has also grown strongly to put BV in second position globally. BV's marine division has continued to grow, and forms the international backbone of the group. Marine division turnover was up 13 per cent in 2003, backed by a strong performance in newbuilding markets. The growing classed fleet stands now at over 6,700 vessels of more than 41.2mgt. 2003 has seen a strong growth in associated services and consulting. BV's leading position in the LNG field gave it a 20 per cent share of the world LNG newbuilding orders, and it is the only classification society active in all types of LNG containment systems. Services to offshore energy are growing strongly, as all major operators of FPSOs turned to BV for assistance with the lifetime maintenance of their floaters. Bernard Anne, managing director of BV's marine division, says, "There has been a welcome outbreak of commonsense amongst classification societies during 2003. The move towards common rules and to re-establishing trust in IACS benefits the whole industry. Bureau Veritas has consistently supported the role of IACS as a forum for developing common rules, and during 2003 we were able to help IACS to react quickly and sensibly to flag states proposals for setting new shipbuilding standards. Today IACS has two main working parties developing common rules, one for tankers and the other, in which BV is very active, for single and double-hull bulk carriers. BV also participates in the committee overseeing the two working groups, helping to make sure that common rules for tankers and bulkers are fully consistent, and that all the societies will be able to interpret the rules in a common manner." Anne also highlights the strong performance of BV's marine division, and its role in the growing BV group. "As part of a major international group with a strong focus on certification and verification we can deliver unrivalled resources from a network which no-one else can support. We also benefit from major investments in research and development at group level, and synergies across the group which share skills and experience. One key area where this is of real benefit to clients is in the offshore energy field, where BV has become the class of choice for large FPSOs." Writing in the Bureau Veritas Marine Business Review 2003/4, Anne says, "As the world's largest ship classification, certification and verification group, BV is very strongly placed to develop high technology solutions to issues which cross industrial frontiers. It is no surprise that during 2003 the operators of almost all existing FPSOs turned to BV for help with managing the structures of their vessels. The technology in our VeriSTAR family of tools, and the expertise and attention to detail of our engineers combine to provide unique solutions to inspection of complex offshore structures. Knowledge gained managing those issues can then be fed back into tanker shipping and into the complex structures of jumbo container ships and gas carriers. "During 2003 BV was chosen to class the world's largest and most innovative LNG carriers, breaking new frontiers of technology in power plant and containment design. At the same time, as the LNG market opened up, the oil and gas majors turned to BV to develop a CAP programme which would help them ensure that older LNG ships taken on charter reached the high standards they expect. As the only classification society present in every type of gas containment system, and with the longest track record in LNG shipment, BV is uniquely placed to produce a common sense condition assessment scheme which will benefit both owners and charterers. "Looking ahead, we are well placed to build on our classed fleet, which this year saw the number of vessels and total tonnage rise yet again, while its average age fell. With 6,700 vessels now in BV class, we have a wealth of experience of working with regulators and owners. During 2003 we worked with a number of flag States to help them develop effective maritime administrations and trained over 1,000 security officers for ports and shipowners. During 2004 we shall extend that skill transfer programme and offer a number of training schemes to shipowners and operators as well as administrations. "BV is a great reservoir of expertise, and it also has the will to share that expertise for the common good. The more we encourage co-operation between class societies, regulators and yards, and the more we work closely with industry, the safer and cleaner shipping will become. That's just common sense."
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