Branch­ing out af­ter cuts

Restruc­ture: At­las Knowl­edge now mov­ing into con­struc­tion and avi­a­tion

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - BUSINESS - BY ALLISTER THOMAS

The CEO of Aberdeen’s At­las Knowl­edge has said he is filled with a “great sense of pur­pose” for the fu­ture fol­low­ing a tough pe­riod of re­struc­tur­ing.

Kevin Short said At­las, which de­vel­ops on­line safety train­ing cour­ses, is mov­ing into new in­dus­tries and ge­ogra­phies as it emerges from the oil down­turn.

It’s af­ter a pe­riod of re­struc­tur­ing in April last year, when 11 peo­ple were made re­dun­dant and two oth­ers came to the end of their con­tracts.

Mr Short said it was a “tough de­ci­sion” and a “sig­nif­i­cant” amount of staff for the firm, which now em­ploys 40 peo­ple.

The com­pany has posted its fi­nan­cial re­sults for the year end­ing Septem­ber 2017, with their earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, taxes, de­pre­ci­a­tion, and amor­ti­za­tion (EBITDA) in­creas­ing to £400,000, but at the same time, pre-tax losses widened by more than £11mil­lion.

That comes fol­low­ing a de­ci­sion last year to

“tidy up”, mak­ing At­las Knowl­edge the only trad­ing com­pany in the group, and waiv­ing around £10m owed by a hold­ing com­pany, At­las Knowl­edge Group.

The re­main­der is ac­counted for by a re­cent reval­u­a­tion of the firm’s

head­quar­ters at Off­shore House in Bridge of Don which, as ex­pected through the down­turn, had re­duced in value by around £900,000.

How­ever, At­las said nei­ther ex­er­cise had a cash im­pact or af­fected

the un­der­ly­ing busi­ness. North Sea oil and gas ac­counts for about 60% of rev­enues, but the com­pany is now mak­ing moves into other safety crit­i­cal in­dus­tries such as con­struc­tion and avi­a­tion.

Mr Short said: “We

took some hard de­ci­sions in April of last year which took us to the yearly fig­ures we re­cently posted.

“We’re now do­ing very well as the in­dus­try is pick­ing up. We seem to be match­ing that with our rev­enues.

Be­cause we have so much ex­pe­ri­ence in safety in oil and gas, we can take those learn­ings to other safety crit­i­cal in­dus­tries. We have seen our­selves move into con­struc­tion and avi­a­tion and that has made it quite ex­cit­ing.”

FOR­WARD: Kevin Short, CEO at At­las Knowl­edge, says the firm is ex­pand­ing out­wards af­ter last year’s ‘tough de­ci­sions’

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