The 1700% growth of prosource between 2004 and 2014 was supported by a buoyant Oil & Gas customer base and sector. With the crash in oil prices that was experienced at the end of 2014 and through 2015, our customers sought to reduce their cost base and minimise discretional spend. Consequently, the challenge for prosource during this period was to demonstrate that its O&G expertise, combined with its flexibility, customer focus and nimbleness could deliver value add and value for money, even in times of austerity.
Heading into 2015, we did anticipate a small contraction in revenues and this was indeed the case, with Group revenues falling by 11.0%. However, in our home market in the UK, that contraction was contained to just 5.5% as we managed to add extra services and new customers to offset the spend and rate reductions required by the majority of our O&G customers.
In response to the challenging conditions, we took a number of steps to reduce our own cost base, including the reduction in the number of functional support staff and tight control of discretional spend. This cost management aligned with ongoing business wins and customer expansion allowed us to maintain Group pre-tax profits at just over 10%.
Despite the commercial distractions and the uncertainty that causes, we thank our staff for continuing excellent HSSE performance with another year of zero workplace injuries and zero Code of Conduct breaches. Our ongoing commitment to Health, Safety & Compliance remains a fundamental element of our operating model.
Again, despite the economic challenges, prosource maintains its support for the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, remaining the principal sponsor of this fantastic charity which supports some of the neediest children in Africa. For more information, see www.prosource.it/gathimba-edwards-foundation.
As we look towards 2016, we see another year of belt-tightening in the O&G marketplace and with the majority of our customers. Nevertheless, the cost management and business successes that we have achieved during 2015 along with the pipeline of activity that we have for the next 3 or 4 quarters justifies optimism that we are well positioned to endure the challenge, with a reasonable prospect of single digit UK growth in 2015-16.