French OSV giant Bourbon is forecasting a "persistently low" rate environment in the sector.

It said clients are currently focusing on short-term projects offering swift return on investment, but are also launching exploration campaigns to renew their reserves and thus meet growing demand.

"A recovery appears to be under way, although it remains impacted by vessel overcapacity in the PSV and AHTS segments," it added.

"We expect prices to remain persistently low."

The company is seeking new finance and is currently undergoing a conciliation process in the Marseille commercial court after a general waiver was not renewed.

It said the search was progressing "diligently."

Revenue fell to EUR 160.2m ($183m) from EUR 192.4m for the third quarter.

Business was up slightly in the period, however, it said, following four consecutive quarters of decline.

Average utilisation rates were stable at 51.6%, compared to 52.5% in the second quarter.

Daily rates held up, despite vessel overcapacity and the gradual renewal of long-term contracts at persistently low market rates.

"We continued to make every effort with our teams and partners to control our costs while maintaining our operational performance and revenues. More than ever before, we are adapting and transforming to remain a leader on our markets,” said CEO Gael Bodenes.