Fugro continues to implement cost reduction and performance improvement measures to counter the continued challenging market conditions. In the first half of 2017, the company’s headcount was reduced by 178 employees to 10,352 and third party expenses were further reduced by 9.6%. In addition, capex continues to be curtailed strongly.Additional measures being taken to restore profitability include improving terms and conditions and early termination of vessel charter agreements. Fugro will also retire two older vessels in the second half of the year.Furthermore, the company concluded that the acquisition of the REM Etive vessel, following the award of two multi-year inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) contracts earlier in the year, is at significantly more beneficial financial conditions than charter renewal.Other measures include down-manning of vessels and vessel support enabled by standardization and application of new technologies, further FTE reduction and more flexible staffing to deal with seasonality.Another measure will be further streamlining of the organization by standardizing work processes, further reducing the number of legal entities and consolidation of support functions into shared service centers.In total, cost savings and performance improvement measures are expected to result in an annualized contribution to EBITDA of EUR 50 to 70 million, most of which will be realized in the coming 12 months.Fugro’s net debt increased from EUR 351.1 million at year-end 2016 to EUR 433.5 million, partly as a result of the seasonal increase in working capital.For the full year 2017, Fugro anticipates a decrease in revenue, however less severe than during the first half. This expectation is supported by a bottoming out of Fugro’s backlog since mid-2016.Capex is expected to be around EUR 100 million.Offshore Energy Today Staff After experiencing a tough first half of the year, the Dutch geotechnical, survey, subsea and geoscience services provider, Fugro, has made plans to further cut costs to counter the continued challenging market conditions. In its Thursday report for the first half of the year, Fugro said it reduced its net result for the period to EUR 96.4 million ($114.2M) from EUR 202.1 million ($239.4M) in the first half of 2016.The company’s revenues for the first half of 2017 declined by 14.5% to EUR 774.3 million from EUR 904.9 million in the same period of 2016.Year-on-year revenue decline on a currency comparable basis reflected ongoing underinvestment in the offshore oil and gas market but the decline was less than during the last two years.According to the company, additional measures are being implemented to streamline business processes and further reduce cost, in order to restore profitability.Backlog for the next 12 months is bottoming out with a decrease of 5.5% on a currency comparable basis compared to a year ago and 2.4% compared to the end of March.Paul van Riel, Fugro CEO, commented: “The offshore oil and gas market continued to decline resulting in a tough first half of 2017. Marine site characterization activities performed below last year mainly due to pricing pressure, and currently utilization at Seabed Geosolutions is low. The marine asset integrity business showed an improved performance at close to break-even level.”However, Riel sees more stable environment looking ahead: “We are seeing early signs of moving into a more stable environment. The marine site characterization and marine asset integrity backlog, excluding construction and installation activities, is growing, supported by signals of increased tender activity. The pipeline of potential projects for Seabed Geosolutions is solid.“In order to restore profitability we are implementing additional measures, including significant cost savings, adjusting pricing strategies and focusing on innovative, higher margin services. This will already start to contribute to improved performance in the second half of this year.” Further cost-cutting measures
You’ve heard coaches say something like this before, “Play every game like it’s the championship.” On Saturday, it’s less of a clich?, because that is exactly what Michigan and Nebraska will do when they meet in Lincoln, Neb.It has taken eight weeks of football for true front-runners to appear in the Big Ten Legends Division, but these two teams look to be the ones showing they want it, and they both want it bad.What exactly is at stake in this upcoming Week 9 division matchup? The leg-up among the Legends group moving forward that could likely decide which team will head to Indianapolis to play in the second Big Ten Championship game and a spot in the Rose Bowl.No. 22 Michigan (5-2, 3-0 Big Ten) holds a one-game lead heading into the game. A victory would keep them in sole control of their destiny, two games ahead and could also mean a last-week game against undefeated Ohio State could have no implication on their standing.But Nebraska (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) won’t be any less motivated Saturday. A Husker victory would result in a tie for the division lead, with the tiebreaker advantage in their favor after a head-to-head victory. With four very winnable games to end the season, this weekend’s game against the Wolverines is their biggest hurdle remaining.Entering the game, both teams will be riding momentum from their Week 8 victories. For Michigan, that came from beating rival Michigan State for the first time in four years after a last-second field goal to give the Wolverines a 12-10 edge over the Spartans. The Huskers also came back from a twelve-point deficit to beat Northwestern on the road by one.Yes, momentum and motivation play into a game, but what happens on the field is all that will truly matter.Here is how I see these teams matching up:Running ability in questionRanked fifth in the nation in rushing and leading the Big Ten with 279 rushing yards per game, Nebraska holds a clear statistical advantage. However, it is unknown if, or how much, their star tailback Rex Burkhead will play after he suffered a left knee injury against Northwestern. While losing him would be a blow to Nebraska’s offense, Ameer Abdullah and quarterback Taylor Martinez are both threats on the run. Michigan’s numbers fall not far behind the Huskers. Quarterback Denard Robinson currently ranks as the team’s leading rusher with 900 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Fitzgerald Toussaint, who has received 10 or more carries since Week 2, is the team’s lead back.Advantage: Michigan. Without a healthy Burkhead, Robinson’s dynamic running ability will edge out the threat’s of Martinez and Abdullah.Skipping stones: Robinson and MartinezAs aggressive as Robinson is on the run, his passing game does not even come close to matching that level. His 53.5 percent completion rate on the season is less-than-impressive.Now onto Martinez. When he is on, he is on fire. With 15 touchdown throws this season, two of which brought home a win this past weekend, Martinez is definitely a game changer for the Huskers. Martinez is ranked 15th nationally in passing efficiency with a 162.8 rating and has thrown just four interceptions. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Monday for the third time this season.Martinez hasn’t been without his rough spots this year, most notably two weeks ago against Ohio State where he threw three interceptions. However, I suspect the Martinez we saw against the Wildcats will be the guy that shows up against Michigan with everything at stake. The Huskers have not lost a game in which he recorded zero interceptions. That will be key to a Nebraska victory.Advantage: Nebraska, and a significant one.Clear Defensive DifferenceThe ability to stop Martinez and the Husker offense is what will decide the outcome of Saturday’s game. Two years ago, Michigan owned one of the worst defenses in college football. Now we are looking at a group who in the last month has resembled a unit that could be one of the best in the nation. In Big Ten play, the Wolverines have given up 23 points total in their three games, meaning their opponents averaged just a measly 7.7 points in each game. Since a rough start to the season with a loss to No. 1 Alabama and a close game with Navy, Michigan has flipped the switch when they don’t posses the ball and after Week 2, have given up no more than 13 points in any game.What also is in the Wolverine defense’s favor is their experience with top teams this year. While losing to both Alabama and currently No. 5 Notre Dame, a powerhouse offense like Nebraska’s will not faze the experienced group.Nebraska’s defense has seen more struggles this season than successes. Ranked 72nd nationally, they allow on average 27.7 points a game, with a number that is even higher against its first three Big Ten opponents.Advantage: MichiganLocation, Location, Location!It cannot go unmentioned that Nebraska is undefeated in its four home games this season. Michigan is 1-2 on the road, but the crowd at Memorial Stadium will be amped up and ready to greet the Wolverines for the first time as Big Ten competition. Last season Nebraska was trampled in Ann Arbor 45-17 and will be looking for revenge, like what happened to Wisconsin in Week 5.Advantage: NebraskaSo who is going to come out the likely favorite to be playing Dec. 1 against the winner of the Leaders Division? It will be close, but I predict Michigan will come out on top. The way Michigan’s defense has played tips the game in their favor for me. Martinez and his offense are good, but we have seen them stopped before this year, and I think we will again come Saturday.
6 4. Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) – Liverpool need to up their game if they want to sign the promising Sessegnon this summer, with Tottenham Hotspur, according to The Times, moving ahead of the pack in the race for his signature. The left-back position is a priority in the market for the Reds and with Klopp keen on nurturing youth, a deal for Sessegnon would make sense. They’ve got to get Spurs out of the running, though. 2. Mohamed Salah (AS Roma) – There could be nothing in this one, but it’s yet to be ruled out. Salah’s agent, earlier this week, posted a photo to Twitter of his flight ticket to the UK and followed Liverpool on the social media site, which inevitably caused a stir with the Anfield faithful. The Liverpool Echo report that the former Chelsea winger is ‘one of a number of wide attackers across Europe under consideration’ by Klopp. 6 3. Iker Casillas (FC Porto) – Casillas’ contract expires at the end of next month and the former Real Madrid ‘keeper has rejected the opportunity to extend his stay in Portugal by a year. Retirement doesn’t yet seem to be on the cards, so several clubs are understood to be interested. One of those is Liverpool, whose goalkeeping problems have been prevalent in recent years. Klopp does have faith in Simon Mignolet, but the availablity of the experienced Casillas, on a free transfer, could be too good to ignore. 6. Naby Keïta (RB Leipzig) – Leipzig finished second to Bayern Munich in the race for the Bundesliga title and Keita was a key player throughout an excellent season. Klopp is understood to be an admirer of the midfielder, who is efficient in a defensive and attacking positions in the centre of the park. The 22-year-old has consistently been reported as being at the top of Klopp’s wish list and is still being linked with a move. As Sky Sports report, he’ll cost around £50m. 6 6 6 6 5. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) – There won’t be many believing Oxlade-Chamberlain really will swap the Emirates for Anfield this summer, but with the 2018 World Cup next summer, the Arsenal midfielder might well be assessing his future. While Liverpool, in reality, wouldn’t be a significant step up for the England international, the 23-year-old might have a better chance of sustaining a starting place under Klopp. A report from the Telegraph, at the beginning of May, claimed the Ox is considering interest from Liverpool. Liverpool have acted early to sign Dominic Solanke from Chelsea, and he won’t be the last player to make the move to Anfield.So who could follow the 19-year-old to the Reds?We’ve taken a look at the latest transfer rumours to reveal six players who could be readying themselves for a move to Merseyside.Scroll through the gallery above to check out who features. 1. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) – click the arrow above, right, to take a look at more players who could follow Solanke to Liverpool this summer – Liverpool, if reports are to be believed, are in pole position to sign Van Dijk this summer. The Dutchman has been linked with Chelsea and Manchester City previously, but the Mirror understand the centre back is keen to work with Jurgen Klopp. With Champions League to offer next season, the Reds are growing in confidence over sealing a deal for one of the Premier League’s most wanted defenders. It’s also been suggested Man City are willing to pay big money for Van Dijk, though, so there is plenty of work to be done if Liverpool are to seal a deal. What better way for new Reds CEO Peter Moore to make his mark?