A buoyant offshore crane market helped Hydralift achieve an 120% growth in sales in the first quarter of 2002 to NOK 797m ($95m), compared with NOK 363m ($43m) in the first quarter of 2001.

The Norwegian company made an operating profit of NOK 101.2m ($12.1m), a rise of 147% on the same period last year.

Profit before tax amounted to NOK 99.8m ($12.0m), an increase of 131% from first quarter 2001. Profit after taxes was NOK 70.0m.

The order backlog at the end of March was NOK 1,634m ($196m). New contracts during the first three months amount to NOK 655m ($78m).

While the order intake for the pipe- and cable-laying equipment was down, orders for drilling equipment and offshore cranes were up. The company described the offshore crane market as ‘very good’. Following its acquisition of AmClyde Engineered Products, Hydralift claims to be the world’s biggest supplier of offshore cranes.

Hydralift Molde Crane received NOK 125m ($15m) of crane orders during the first quarter. The Korean dockyard Hyundai ordered four cranes for platforms at the Al Shaheen field in the Persian Gulf, and three cranes for the Exxon Kizomba FPSO. Two cranes for the BP Clair west of Shetland were ordered in March.

Hydralift ASA won several crane contracts in the first quarter. Seven cranes are to be delivered to National Petroleum Construction Company in Iran this year. In addition contracts have been won for delivery of eight cranes to the Japanese yard IHI for an FPSO. Hydralift will also deliver two pipe-handling cranes for Global Santa Fe’s two new jack-ups.

Cranes for the Brazilian Barracuda and Carratinga fields were delivered in February and March. Hydralift Molde Crane has completed and delivered four cranes for the Norwegian fields Grane and Statfjord B.