Engineering firm Pressure Technologies said it is well placed to take advantage of improving market conditions after several years of tough trading.
The Sheffield-based company reported a pre-tax loss of £3.1m for the year to September 29, up from a £1.4m loss in 2017.
Chris Walters, chief executive of Pressure Tech, said: “We are seeing higher tendering from our customers and we are securing a higher proportion of orders. Customers are showing cautious optimism.
“They are talking to us about the order book because they want us to prepare for increased orders. They have been very loyal.”
The firm blamed the pre-tax loss on £2.6m of amortisation and a £500,000 loss in the alternative energy division.
Mr Walters said: “It’s been a very difficult three years, but we’ve seen some stability in oil prices. 2019 will be a transitional year and 2020 will be the big pick up.”
The group said it is in a good position for a market recovery as it has invested in equipment, people and manufacturing.
“I think the prospects are very positive indeed,” said Mr Walters.
“It’s a very resilient organisation that has been through an extremely difficult time, but we have survived and we’re still here. Such strong loyalty is very positive.”
Manufacturing revenue rose 13 per cent over the year, with second half revenue up 32 per cent on the first half as the businesses experienced an increase in activity in core markets.
Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald said: “The group has reported that recent trading performance, order intake and general bidding activity indicates a period of increased market activity, particularly in the oil & gas sector. Hence, the board expects a ‘much better’ trading performance this year. The increase in activity has been fuelled by greater confidence in the global oil & gas market.
“Most international oil companies have recently reported strong quarterly profits, which has led to higher investment in capital projects.
“Year-end order books in Pressure Technologies’ core manufacturing divisions are between 36 and 54 per cent higher.”