Boom in profits

Newcastle-based Wellstream is on target to deliver a profit growth of 85 per cent this year after recording a strong first-quarter performance. The company, which is investing heavily to increase capacity both in the north east and its new factory in Brazil, is forecasting pre-tax profits of around £77m, up from £41.7m last year.

Wellstream has benefited from the boom in the offshore oil and gas market, which has seen the price of fuel increase, making it economic for oil companies to reach reserves under the world’s oceans. This has increased demand for the high strength pipelines, currently manufactured by the company.

Construction work to expand Wellstream plants is currently ongoing and chief executive Gordon Chapman hopes to have 40 per cent more capacity by the end of March next year.

The company already employs 570 staff and expects to take that figure to 620 when its expansion is complete.