Optimarin notched up record revenue last year on sales of its industry-leading ballast water treatment system (BWTS) as it overcame market challenges to accelerate deliveries in response to rising demand and tight installation schedules.
The Norwegian supplier’s annual turnover exceeded Nkr300 million ($34 million) for the first time ever following a 20% increase in the number of systems sold versus 2020, while Optimarin also boosted its customer base by 20% as the company expanded its market footprint.
A further 20% rise in service revenue contributed to the strong performance that was achieved despite logistical issues due to supply chain challenges and price inflation for electrical components.
“As well as increasing revenue, we managed to maintain profitability in a difficult year and gain ground by winning additional customers in both existing and new markets, which gives us a solid platform for further growth in 2022,” says Optimarin chief executive Leiv Kallestad.
He points out that sales were particularly strong in Europe, while there are also positive trends in Asian and South American markets as countries open up post-pandemic that will make it easier to do business, with sales managers now in place in Turkey, Hong Kong and Singapore.
A key factor behind the increase in sales has been Optimarin’s ability to juggle order deliveries according to clients’ constantly changing drydocking schedules as shipowners have kept their vessels operating to cash in on high charter rates in the container and other market segments, he explains.
The company has a fast-track delivery model that means it can cater to tight installation windows for retrofits of its flexible modular BWTS to minimise vessel downtime.
Optimarin’s tie-up with UK-based Newport Shipping also ensures drydocking capacity at yards worldwide as industry demand increases for such retrofits ahead of a looming September 2024 deadline for implementation of the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention. “There is no time to lose and we are pushing hard to deliver in line with demand, having also taken several steps to respond to competitive pressures in the market,” Kallestad says.
In particular, he highlights the fact that Optimarin has now gained a major order for multiple retrofits with one of the world’s biggest shipowners.
“We have passed the test in being able to deliver and have gained their trust. We consider this a breakthrough order that demonstrates the proven integrity and reliability of the Optimarin system based on a track record of more than 1000 deliveries to date – and counting,” Kallestad says.
In addition, the supplier has secured several fleet agreements with a number of shipowners, mainly for smaller vessels that are well-suited to Optimarin’s compact system.
Kallestad believes the streamlined nature of the Optimarin system with simplified modular components will also be a key factor in securing orders in the newbuild market for larger vessels as space for installation becomes limited due to the need for other equipment to cut emissions.
The company’s investments in continuous product development are evidently paying off, having seen increasing sales of its OptiLink™ digital system – an innovative cloud-based software solution for ballast water management launched last year.
Kallestad says clients are starting to realise the benefits of this solution in terms of gaining vital data on water quality at different ports to optimise voyage planning, regulatory compliance with a digital class certificate and preventive maintenance through remote troubleshooting.
Meanwhile, the positive sales trend has continued into this year, with order intake for January already double that of a year ago, and Kallestad believes the company is “on course for a substantial increase in order intake and revenue in 2022”.