High Arctic records almost $13M profit in ’10, reduces debt levels

High Arctic Energy Services has reported a nearly $30 million improvement in its net earnings for 2010.

High Arctic Energy Services has reported a nearly $30 million improvement in its net earnings for 2010.

The Red Deer-based provider of specialized oilfield equipment and services recorded a profit of $12.8 million last year, as compared with a net loss of $16.5 million in 2009. Its 2010 earnings per share were eight cents, up from a loss of 36 cents a share.

The company’s Canadian revenues in 2010 were $39.1 million, a 44 per cent jump from $27.2 million. Revenues from international operations declined 16 per cent, to $80.2 million from $95.4 million.

High Arctic’s net debt, after deducting the positive working capital position, was $4.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2010. That compares with a figure of $69.3 million one year earlier.

“Our goals going into 2010 were primarily to reduce our debt levels, concentrate on our core businesses and improve our profitability,” said High Arctic CEO Bruce Thiessen in a company release. “I am pleased to say that we have successfully addressed those challenges. Most significantly, in the past three years the corporation has reduced its credit facilities and convertible debentures from $146.2 million at Dec. 31, 2007 to $36.5 million at Dec. 31, 2010.”

For the final quarter of 2010, High Arctic’s Canadian revenues from continuing operations increased 57 per cent, to $12.1 million from $7.7 million in the same period of 2009. Revenue from continuing international operations was up 12 per cent, to $21.2 million from $19 million.

Net earnings for the quarter were $3.6 million, or two cents a share, as compared with a net loss of $11.5 million, or 25 cents per share.

The company said in its release that oil and gas drilling activity in Canada was much higher in 2010 than in 2009. It added its international operations are primarily in Papua New Guinea, where services are provided under longer term contracts and less affected by changes in oil and gas prices.

High Arctic has also announced that it is lending more than $1.1 million to certain directors and officers to help settle tax bills related to a share issue under the company’s executive compensation plan.

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