UPDATED: Analysts praise Getech's management as company faces pivotal year

Oil exploration data company Getech said changes to its culture and organisation have started to improve its financial performance.

Analysts have praised Getech's management Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The Leeds-based group sells complex magnetic and geophysical data to help oil and gas companies operate more efficiently.

In a statement to the firm’s annual meeting, Jonathan Copus, the chief executive, said: “In the 17-month accounting period to December 31 2017 (AP 2017) we integrated the acquisition of Exprodat, re based costs, strengthened our commercial offering, and repositioned Getech’s operational and financial strategy.

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“This strategy places our data, software and information products at the heart of our business. By doing this we target high-margin, repeat revenue growth and we are reshaping our services to more clearly leverage our products and geoscience-geospatial skills.

“These steps have significantly strengthened Getech’s finances, they have helped us to cross-sell our products and services, we have entered new sectors, and accessed rich seams of new data with significant 2018 revenue potential.

“We view the progress made to successfully re-align our business to reflect the collaborative approach that we have established with our customers.”

Getech said that during 2017 it had refreshed and expanded its gravity and magnetic data inventory and accessed more seismic and well data.

The statement added: “This allows Getech to provide a richer and broader suite of essential data to our customers, focused in regions where we see clear commercial catalysts to drive buying interest.

“One example is Sierra Leone, where in 2017 we assembled a suite of seismic and well data for the government, which in 2018 we are using to promote the country’s fourth offshore licensing round.”

It continued: “In contrast to our product activities, our service teams continued to face a much tougher trading environment - the division in AP 2017 delivering a gross margin of 7 per cent. Underlying this figure is a very difficult geoscience services market, where despite headcount reductions a lack of billable work eroded the division’s profitability.

“Trading in our geospatial services group was much stronger, the team’s skills continuing to win new work and open doors to opportunities within oil and gas and across a range of new sectors. By wrapping our services more tightly around our products and combined geoscience-geospatial skills, and through a focus on cost control and enhanced project management, we target stronger service returns.”

Getech also revealed that its sales pipeline for 2018 is larger and more diverse than in 2017 and it is engaged on a series of “exciting and potentially material data, information product and software campaigns”. Getech said these have the potential to deliver revenue above 2017 levels.

Stuart Paton, the chairman of Getech Group plc, said: “The last year has seen continued strong leadership under Jonathan. Under his direction, we have made significant changes to the culture, organisation and strategic positioning of the business which have already started to impact on the bottom line.”

GETECH is well-placed to receive a boost from the changes being implemented by chief executive Jonathan Copus, according to analysts at WH Ireland.

In a note, WH Ireland said that Getech has been positioned for growth “in an increasingly exciting operational landscape”.

The note continued: “On balance we believe that 2018 represents a pivotal year for Getech.”

WH Ireland said the company was well positioned to benefit from the cultural changes within the group, which included an increased emphasis on products. The analysts also highlighted the decisive actions being taken by the company to keep costs under control.