The chief executive of marine services company James Fisher and Sons is stepping down after 15 years at the helm.

Nick Henry has told the firm’s board that he intends to retire by the end of December 2019.

James Fisher and Sons was founded in Barrow, where it still operates.  Mr Henry has been with the firm for 16 years in total. 

The company said: “The notice he has given ensures there is sufficient time to allow a thorough search process to take place, both internally and externally, in order to allow a smooth transition of responsibilities.”

Malcolm Paul, chairman of James Fisher, added: “Nick’s track record as chief executive speaks for itself.
“He has overseen strong organic growth, particularly in our marine support and specialist technical divisions, and successfully completed a number of niche acquisitions.

“Nick will continue to deliver our consistent strategy during the coming financial year as we manage the transition to a new leadership.”

Mr Henry said: “I will be leaving James Fisher next year with a strong and experienced management team in place and in excellent financial and operational shape to take advantage of the many opportunities the group has for further growth.” 

The plc celebrated an increase in profits and revenue for the first half of this year.

It saw a 12 per cent growth in revenue from £232.5m in the first six months of 2017, to £260.5m in the same period this year.

With underlying profits in the first half of the year at £24.5m  –18 per cent up on last year’s £20.7m – the company said it was looking forward to a strong second half year as it looks to deliver a major submarine project for the Indian Navy.

Earlier this year, James Fisher’s marine services division scooped a £50 million 10-year contract with an unnamed energy company.

James Fisher was founded in 1847 as a ship-owning business transporting haematite from quarries in Cumbria around the world.