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Austal increases presence in key markets
April 23, 2012
Austal has taken further steps in implementing its strategy to regionalise its operations to better serve and grow its international client base.
Following the acquisition of its Philippines shipyard last year, the company has now broadened its sales and support organisations in the key Europe, Asia-Pacific and Middle East markets.
Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said the strategy would provide better service and results for customers.
“Austal is a highly customer focussed and by developing our presence in key regions, we are able to spend more time with them,” he said “That increased level of client contact will enable us to understand their requirements even better than we have in the past.
“Ultimately that means we can deliver better results to them, whether that be in the ships we build, the systems we integrate or the in-service support we provide.”
Expanded European presence
Simon Smith, who has been representing Austal for nearly 13 years, has been appointed to the role of Regional Manager for Europe. He and his team are based in a new office in the United Kingdom, which was formally opened by Andrew Bellamy today.
“Austal has had a great success in Europe over the years, particularly in the ferry market, and Simon has been central to those achievements,” Mr Bellamy said.
“Now there are new opportunities including sales and support of boats for the growing offshore wind farm market. That’s an area in which we are now highly competitive through the combination of superior technology and the manufacturing capability provided by the Philippines shipyard.
Mr Bellamy said the company’s European presence had also been expanded with the introduction of a specialist in defence business development.
Guy Johnston has been appointed Regional Sales Manager – Defence for Europe. Guy brings extensive experience from the defence and IT industries, including 18 years within the BAE Systems organisation where he held a number of senior sales and marketing positions.
“We are looking to expand sales to the European naval and paramilitary market,” Mr Bellamy commented. “We feel that is definitely achievable given our success in breaking into the US defence industry and Guy brings the right skills and experience to help us realise that aim.”
Austal staff at the opening of the new UK office. L to R: Guy Johnston, Julian Bray (Sales Manager), Andrew Bellamy, Mike Wake (Sales Representative), Matthew Walford (Business Development Manager - Service), James Bennett (Technical Manager - Commercial Vessels), Sam Abbott (Structural Design Manager), Simon Smith
Support growth anticipated
Mr Bellamy said Austal also planned to continue the growth of its European vessel support presence which began with the establishment of a Service Centre on the Strait of Gibraltar in May 2010.
“We are growing our footprint in the region meaning that the existing Service Centre in Spain will in the not too distant future be one of many we have in the region,” he said.
“Our goal is to emulate the success we have had in Spain here in the UK. We are also actively reviewing other European locations as enquiries continue to increase.”
Austal’s support business provides marine maintenance, repair and consultancy services to the commercial, defence and private markets.
Singapore office established
Austal has also established a new representative office for the Asia-Pacific region in Singapore.
“With its extensive shipping and maritime interests, and strategic location, Singapore is a natural choice from which to develop business and other ties to the region’s navies and commercial shipping operators,” Andrew Bellamy explained.
“That includes developing our existing support capabilities in response to the US Navy’s plans to rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific including the forward deployment of Littoral Combat Ships in Singapore.”
The office is headed up by Austal’s newly appointed Asia-Pacific Regional Manager, Colin Simpson. Based in the Asia Pacific Region for over 17 years, Mr Simpson has extensive experience and strong connections within the region’s marine, shipbuilding and oil and gas sectors.
New personnel in the Middle East
Austal’s capacity to service the needs of clients in the Middle East has also been expanded through the addition of experienced personnel to the company’s United Arab Emirates office.
Brett Reed has been joined by Cory Zachrisson, and they both work under the guidance of Michael McCourt, who recently took up the position of Vice President – Middle East.
Mr McCourt has previously held senior managerial roles in shipbuilding in South East Asia as well as in procurement and vessel support at Austal’s Head Office in Western Australia.
“During that time Michael was instrumental in establishing the company’s Regional Service Centres in northern Australia, Oman and Trinidad and Tobago,” Mr Bellamy said. “That experience makes him well suited to managing an effective regional office.”
Like Brett, Michael formerly served in the Royal Australian Navy meaning they bring valuable specialist engineering and operational knowledge to discussions with the region’s naval and paramilitary forces.
Both Cory and Brett transferred to the Middle East after each developing strong industry and company knowledge by spending a number of years in sales, project management and ship construction roles in Austal’s Australian operations.
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