Work on MoD projects at A&P Falmouth was a major factor in the A&P Group increasing profits and turnover which went from £74.5m (2020) to £88.5m in the year ended March 31, 2021.

This reflects in the operating profit of £4,881,000 in March 2021 compared with £1,633,000 in same period in 2020.

The Group’s profit for the year amounted to £3.68m (2020: £895,000).

During the accounting period Steve Jones, A&P Falmouth operations and site managing director, and Gerald Pitts, managing director A&P Defence, were the men in the hot seats.

In his strategic report CEO David McGinley said that the year ended March 31, 2021 “has seen a return to higher revenue levels owing to a return to normalised military refit programmes through the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), absent in the previous year.” Many of the RFA Cluster ships assigned to Falmouth were on deployment in 2020.

Port operations suffered at Falmouth due to a complete absence of cruise revenue as a result of the pandemic but overall strong berth and towage revenue was driven by military project activity in the Falmouth ship repair business.

He went on to explain how Covid-19 and Brexit affected revenue: “The impact of the foregoing resulted in the increase of some £25m of revenue in the year offset, in part, by a reduction in offsite military work as some large contracts completed prior year, together with lower commercial ship repair revenue as a consequence of both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

“The group has concentrated on the groundwork laid in previous years by continuing to raise its profile in both the traditional ship repair and conversion market and also in the renewable energy, the oil and gas sectors and in modular fabrication for the ship building industry.

"These, together with the generation of a pleasing result by the management and workforce, continue to confirm A&P as one of the premier ship building and repairing, ship conversion and marine engineering businesses in the UK.

"These results are regarded as pleasing given that they were delivered during the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic and is testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees who have stepped-up in this period.”

A&P Group is looking ahead at various new sectors whilst taking advantage of the Tyne and Falmouth strategic locations within the UK. Mr McGinley recognises that: “Both ports are well placed to secure work as part of the supply chain for, and to provide support services to the emerging renewable energy sector, National Shipbuilding Strategy, and also into the oil and gas heavy engineering industry.

“The Board recognise that activities in the latter sector remains subdued but are paying close attention to the initiatives in that area and are continuing to develop links into the operation and maintenance part of the offshore supply chain.”

Wind farm projects for the Celtic Sea coupled with Falmouth’s location makes the port ideal to become a hub for fabricating these structures and servicing the wind farm vessels that install and maintain them.

Looking ahead Mr McGinley added: “The continuing RFA Cluster contract through life global reach contract, together with military contracts under Future Submarines and A&P’s regular commercial business within the UK, will provide a sound turnover base for the foreseeable future.”