Bristow Group’s diversification strategy has helped substantially offset weakening offshore transport profits, but has also caused what executives indicated are temporary hiccups in the company’s coveted safety record until it can fully integrate new business lines into its "Target Zero" culture.
"Our third quarter results demonstrate the success of our diversified business development and economic restructuring efforts in the face of unprecedented challenges for our oil and gas clients," said President and CEO Jonathan Bailiff during a fiscal year 2016 earnings call. He added that Bristow’s recent diversification into fixed-wing passenger transport, U.K. search and rescue, and UAV aerial inspection services with Sky-Futures all have resulted in "tangible results as shown in the tenfold increase in non-oil and gas rotary revenue percentage from 2% in fiscal year 2014 to today’s more than 20%."
However, Bailiff also reported that the company’s total recordable injury rate spiked to 0.39% during the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2015. That is higher than what it had been at the end of fiscal year 2015. "The decline in year-over-year performance is largely due to newly integrated performance of our fixed-wing and search and rescue operations, with our rotary operations at 0.15%,” Bailiff clarified. “We will continue to invest significantly in fully integrating these relatively new parts of our businesses into the Target Zero culture, systems and processes."
Bristow recently experienced the second of two Sikorsky S-76C helicopter crashes in Nigeria this fiscal year, prompting Nigerian authorities to issue a temporary suspension of the company’s S-76 fleet. All occupants survived after the Sikorsky S-76C++ made a successful water landing in the Lagos lagoon. The previous crash last August claimed the lives of two pilots and four of 10 passengers on board.