James Fisher & Sons

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James Fisher and Sons plc
Traded asLSEFSJ
IndustryMarine services
HeadquartersFisher House, Barrow-in-Furness, UK
Key people
Malcolm Paul, (Chairman)
Nick Henry, (CEO)
Stuart Kilpatrick (Group Finance Director)
Revenue£561.5 million (2018)[1]
£62.1 million (2018)[1]
£45.3 million (2018)[1]

James Fisher and Sons plc (LSEFSJ) is a British provider of marine engineering services. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The Company was founded by James Fisher in 1847 in Barrow-in-Furness as a ship-owning business transporting haematite from the Cumbrian hills.[2] In 1868 it had 70 ships[3] and by the 1870s it owned the largest coasting fleet in the United Kingdom.[2] It acquired the Furness Shipbuilding Company in 1870 but only went on to build one ship, Ellie Park.[3] During the 1880s it slowly moved from operating sailing ships to operating steamers.[4]

It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1952.[5] From the 1960s the Company was managed by Directors with no family connection.[4] At that time it established a reputation for moving heavy equipment, including even locomotives, by sea.[4] By 1965 it had built its first ship suitable for transporting irradiated nuclear fuel.[5] In the 1960s the company chartered up to a dozen of its ships to the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company to operate the latter's Preston based container services across the Irish Sea.[6] In 1984 the company acquired short sea and offshore specialists Coe Metcalf Shipping, lifting the fleet to 42 vessels, and in 1996 it acquired P&O Tankships.[7]

The company's division James Fisher Defence formerly operated the submarine rescue service for the Royal Navy, and provided the submersible Scorpio 45 which saved the lives of seven Russian sailors in their submarine AS-28 in 2005.[8] In 2005 James Fisher acquired Fendercare Marine Solutions Ltd for £12m[9] and in 2007 it acquired Buchan Technical Services for £5m[10] and FT Everard, a leading competitor in the UK coastal shipping market, for £35.0m.[11] In 2013 James Fisher acquired Divex Ltd for an initial consideration of £20m in cash plus a further maximum additional consideration of £13m linked to future profitability targets.[12]


The Company operates from various locations throughout the world, with its corporate headquarters in Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, and provides the following services:[13]

  • Defence (design, construction and operation of rescue submarines)
  • Port Agency
  • Renewable Energy services
  • Marine oil services
  • Offshore oil services
  • Shipping services
  • Specialist technical services


Cumbrian Fisher in Portsmouth Harbour

The charter tanker fleet is operated by the subsidiary James Fisher Everard.[14]

Ship Built DWT Notes
Forth Fisher 1997 4,972 Ex Quarterman. Emergency oil spill response vessel
Galway Fisher 1997 4,967 Emergency oil spill response vessel
Solent Fisher 1997 4,972
Thames Fisher 1997 4,765
Mersey Fisher 1998 4,765
Milford Fisher 1998 4,973
Cumbrian Fisher 2004 12,921
Clyde Fisher 2005 12,984
Shannon Fisher 2005 5,420
Solway Fisher 2006 5,421
Seniority 2006 4,430 Adapted to handle petro-chemical cargoes
Speciality 2006 4,426 Adapted to handle petro-chemical cargoes
Superiority 2007 4,415 Adapted to handle petro-chemical cargoes
Sarnia Cherie 2007 3,515 Ex Vedrey Tora. Involved in supplying the Channel Isles
Sarnia Liberty 2008 3,532 Ex Vedrey Thor. Involved in supplying the Scottish Highlands and Islands
Kestrel Fisher 2013 7,072 Ex Damen Bergum 9394.
King Fisher 2013 7,064 Ex Ouse.

Sir John Fisher Foundation[edit]

The Sir John Fisher Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1980 by Sir John Fisher and his wife Lady Maria Fisher, in order to support good causes in the area surrounding the company’s headquarters in Barrow-in-Furness. The Foundation’s capital fund includes its shareholding in James Fisher and Sons plc. The dividends paid by the company enable its trustees to make grants to charitable causes, throughout the UK, but with special regard to those based in and working for the benefit of people living in and around Barrow-in-Furness and surrounding area.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Results 2018". james-fisher.com. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Heritage". james-fisher.co.uk. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Lindal & Marton History". lindal-in-furness.co.uk. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Around the Coast and across the Seas: The Story of James Fisher and Sons Journal of Transport History, March 2001
  5. ^ a b With a fair wind blowing there are profits to be made on the high seas The Scotsman, 6 April 2003
  6. ^ By Road Across the Sea, Miles Cowsill [1990] Ferry Publications
  7. ^ "Marine Supply, Boats & Yachts, Hull & Machinery Insurance, Warehousing, Maritime Insurance, Brokers, Fishing & Aquaculture, Navigation, Ship Owners". best-maritime-employment.info. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  8. ^ International cooperation saves trapped submariners Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ James Fisher acquires FenderCare
  10. ^ "James Fisher buys Buchan Technical Services for GBP 4.9m". highbeam.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  11. ^ James Fisher buys Everard Archived 23 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ James Fisher and Sons plc Acquisition of Divex Limited
  13. ^ James Fisher: capabilities
  14. ^ "James Fisher Everard". James Fisher & Sons. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  15. ^ "The Sir John Fisher Foundation". sirjohnfisherfoundation.org.uk. Retrieved 28 March 2015.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]