Amec Foster Wheeler's got the power -- gas, oil, nuclear, and renewable. The engineering giant provides design, consulting, and project management services for the natural resources (oil sands, oil and gas, and mining), nuclear, clean energy, water, and environmental sectors. The company is active in the UK and the Americas, as well as Australia and the Middle East. Amec Foster Wheeler is responsible for maintaining large, complex facilities such as nuclear power stations and oil and gas production facilities. It also offers environmental consulting. Amec Foster Wheeler traces its history back more than 160 years to a UK-based construction company.
The company agreed to a £2.2 billion takeover by energy services giant Wood Group in 2017.
Amec Foster Wheeler operates four business units: Americas (accounting for about 50% of revenue); Northern Europe & the Commonwealth of Independent States (almost 30% of revenue), which serve the environmental and infrastructure, clean energy (mostly nuclear industry), and oil & gas markets in the region; AMEA & Southern Europe, or AMEASE (over 15% of revenue), which serve the same markets as the Northern Europe & CIS segment as well as the mining markets, and provides consultancy and special construction services; and Global Power Group (8% of revenue), which operates four manufacturing facilities, two cogeneration plants, and nearly a dozen engineering and service centers in eight countries.
The UK-based firm has operations in more than 55 countries worldwide. The US is Amec Foster Wheeler's largest market, contributing about 30% of sales. The UK is its next largest, representing more than 25% of sales, while Canada brings in more than 20%. The firm has major offices in Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Chile, China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
Sales and Marketing
The company serves four key markets: Oil & Gas (54% of revenue in 2014), Clean Energy (28% of revenue), Mining (8% of revenue), and Environmental & Infrastructure (10%). Its clients include public utilities and privately owned power generators, governments, regulators, reactor suppliers, and gas and electricity transmission and distribution facilities.
Some of its top clients in 2014 included BP, Canadian Natural Resources, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, National Grid, Novartis, Royal Dutch Shell, Sempra Energy, and agencies of the US government.
Note: Growth rates may differ after conversion to US dollars. This analysis uses financials from the company's latest annual report.
Amec Foster Wheeler has struggled to grow its revenues and profits in recent years as its business has declined in the Americas and Europe. Its business in its growth markets have been rising however, and its new E&C Services and Global Power Group divisions (launched in 2014) have helped add new sources of income to the business.
The company's revenue inched up less than 1% to £4 billion ($6.2 billion) in 2014, mostly thanks to double-digit growth in the Clean Energy markets, though its revenue fell in other markets due in large part to the stronger sterling compared to the US dollar.
Despite higher revenue in 2014, Amec Foster Wheeler's net income dove 56% to £79 million ($123 million) for the year due to higher administrative expenses from exceptional items such as intangibles amortization and asbestos-related costs. The company's operating cash levels fell 39% to £146 million ($227 million) mostly as its cash earnings declined.
With sales shrinking in the Americas and Europe in recent years, the company has been growing its business in "Growth Regions." Some of the geographic areas it's targeted include Australasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. During 2015, the company expanded its operations in the United Arab Emirates as it's been securing more contracts in the region and continues to see growth opportunities in the Middle East.
Amec Foster Wheeler has reorganized its business structure in recent years to foster growth. In 2013 the firm changed how it reports its financial results from a divisional basis to a geographic one. It tweaked its operating structure again in 2015 after its significant acquisition of Foster Wheeler to "enable collaboration and promote greater growth opportunities."
To diversify its revenue streams, Amec Foster Wheeler has been busy expanding its service capabilities and geographic reach through an active acquisition schedule. Some areas of focus for Amec Foster Wheeler have included deepwater projects, subsea and pipeline engineering, and underground mining. Other growing sectors for the firm include nuclear energy and the transmission and distribution of renewable energy, areas that have garnered attention as oil prices climb.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In November 2014, AMEC acquired Swiss engineering and construction contractor Foster Wheeler for nearly £2 billion and changed its own name to Amec Foster Wheeler. The new rendition was expected to have revenues of some £5.5 billion.
Also in late 2014, Amec Foster Wheeler acquired Scopus, a market-leading laser-scanning, dimensional control, and lean engineering company based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Management believed that Scopus, whose precise survey data is used in the oil and gas industry to engineer piping and structural solutions, would help AMEC strengthen its project delivery capabilities in the upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas sectors.