Polarcus–An Internal Assessment Research Paper Sample



There are many ways to assess a company’s performance. One of the oldest yet most effective ways of attaining such is by doing an internal assessment, or specifically, reviewing a company’s financial history. This can be done by reviewing the company’s published annual report for a particular year. The company whose annual report and financial statements will be assessed in this paper will be Polarcus. The objective of this paper is to discuss what has happened with Polarcus financially and internally and what impact their previous corporate decisions could have on the overall condition of thecompany.
As a brief overview, let us define Polarcus based on the definition they have provided in their website. Polarcus is “a pure play marine geophysical company with a pioneering environmental agenda, specializing in high-end towed streamer data acquisition from Pole to Pole”. In a nutshell, it is a company that specializes on marine towed streamer seismic acquisition services, which according to researches leaves harmful environmental footprints because of the invasiveness of the procedures involved. Nevertheless, the management has promised and has actually showed evidences of investment efforts towards minimizing, if not completely eradicating environmental risks of their services.

Research Question

Population: Polarcus Limited
Intervention: Internal Assessment
Comparison: Annual Report and Financial Statements
Outcome: Higher or Lower Financial Performance
The research question for this paper is “Internally Assessing Polarcus’ Financial Performance from 2008 to 2011 by reviewing their Annual Report and Financial Statements”. Although it cannot practically be a research question, it satisfies the PICO criteria (see above) of formulating a research question.


There is a strong need to assess a company’s financial performance. In fact, the overall performance of a company does not entirely rely on its financial performance because there are other determinants of corporate success such as customer satisfaction, and other service-related outcomes. Normally, a company with promising financial assessment outcomes is a well-managed company and that is what the researcher is trying it in this paper, although the main outcome measure that will be used would be the Annual Report and financial statements that Polarcus released from year 2009 to 2011.
Although there can be a more updated version of internal assessment that we could do, which would include their annual report and financial statement for the year 2012, the researcher has chosen to include financial data up to the year 2011 only because of data access restriction issues.

Theoretical Framework

Creating a concise but complete theoretical framework that showcases all the factors included in the internal analysis and their relationship with one another is important in order to give the readers what the analysis is all about. In this case, all the variables were listed as the corporate decisions, annual reports and financial statement, company’s performance, and the outcomes which at the end of the study could be identified as positive or negative. Now, there exists a relationship between these variables. The arrows connected to each box indicate a relationship, whether positive or negative, directly or inversely proportional, to one another. Corporate decisions, for example, as shown in the diagram, can affect the figures in the company’s financial statement, the company’s performance, and the outcome of this study which we will be able to find out at the end of this study. The three boxes at the top of the diagram have a linear relationship. The figures in the annual report and financial statement can be an indicator of the company’s performance, and the company’s performance in turn can affect the outcome of this study.


The researcher will use a descriptive qualitative type of study design in answering the research question. It is by far the most appropriate study design to use for this case because of the availability of information, which is limited to Polarcus’ annual report and financial statements from the year 2008 to 2011. The researcher will attempt to explore the type of relationship between the corporate decisions executed by Polarcus’ management and their effects to the figures in their annual report and financial statements within a span of three years, and their impact on the company’s performance. Based on the findings, the researcher will analyze whether the past finance-related decisions that the management made in the past three years have resulted into a positive or negative outcome.

Action Plan

This is the initial action plan for all the activities and procedures that are necessary for the completion of this research paper. The estimated time of completion is 30 to 60 days. However, we do not rule out the possibility of delays due to various reasons. This action plan was fabricated in a step by step process. Meaning, prior steps should be completed first before proceeding to the later ones. The research proposal, for example, should be submitted and approved first before the implementation phase commences. The same principle applies to the other phases of the research until the completion day. This way, the researcher will be able to take on the topic with ease, system, and also to avoid inconsistencies that may be brought about by an unsystematic way of answering the research question.

Key Management Decisions and Accomplishments in 2009

Polarcus launched their first business operations in 2008. They were initially led by a team of experts in the maritime and seismic industry. The company’s workforce was very small back then. The number of employees during that time did not even exceed 50. This team of less than 50 were scattered in various locations, not just in the company headquarters which was located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The company’s size grew substantially after over a year of existence in the seismic and maritime industry. By the end of 2009, the total number of employees ballooned to 186, “65 of which are based in Dubai, 1 in Houston, 1 in London, and 119 were field engineers and experienced maritime and seismic crews assigned in manipulating the company’s first two 3D seismic vessels which are now based and productively operating in the coasts of West Africa”.
One of the company’s key developments in 2009 was the positive financial results. After computing for the total loss and total operating and other expenses against the total gains, the company was able to have a net gain of 4,589,000 USD. Polarcus’ total comprehensive income over loss was 14,445 (in thousands of dollars), significantly higher compared to the figures recorded in 2008 which was only 6,977 (in thousands of dollars). The company was also able to secure the financing for the construction of four new additional vessels in addition to the only one they had in 2008. As of December 2009, the company was able to secure a financing total of 737 million. 337 of which came from equities, 55 million from senior secured bond, 35 million from convertible bonds, 180 million from sale and lease back on their first two vessels, 50 million from vendor financing, and 80 million from loan facilities. Meaning, they have already secured everything needed for the developments, expansions, and upgrades for the upcoming years, which can be considered a sign of good management. The outlook in 2009 was also declared to be favorable because of the continuous need for oil companies to manage reserves and fix management issues such as the declining production rates in some areas.

Key Management Decisions and Accomplishments in 2010

The year 2010 was a ground breaking year for Polarcus. The total number of full time employees increased to 379; 93 of which were office workers and 280 were field workers. The size of their workforce in 2009 roughly doubled in 2010, allowing them to accommodate more projects and clients. In fact, based on the key figures after their first year of operation as a seismic and maritime company, they were able to record revenue of 122.7 million USD. Shipbuilding contracts for an additional of two high end 3D seismic vessels from a shipbuilding company in Norway, which was delivered in the first half of 2012, were completed. Apart from that, the management had also announced the opening of another regional marketing branch in Asia, specifically in Singapore—a decision which would greatly impact their financial figures in the coming fiscal years because of the larger market base. The company, on that same year, also received various accreditations from international governing bodies namely: ISM Document of Compliance – International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships for Pollution Prevention. ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems, and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. The company’s total comprehensive income over loss in 2010 was 28,341 (in thousands of dollars); roughly two times their OCI in 2009. All in all, the company’s size, service coverage, gains, and even assets more than doubled in 2010.

Key Management Decisions and Accomplishments in 2011

The demand for seismic and maritime services further grew in 2011 and as a result, financial figures for companies such as Polarcus increased. By the end of 2011, the company was able to record a company record high revenue of 298.6 million USD which was over 1.5 times their revenue in 2010—a positive indicator that the company is growing. Also, from having 2 operational vessels in 2009, the number of their vessels grew to 6. However, it is important to take note that they still have ongoing contracts for additional ships. The total comprehensive income over loss by the end of 2011 was 31,499 (in thousands of dollars); still significantly higher compared to the figure they got in 2010 which was around 28,000 thousand USD.

Evaluation of Sources

All the sources used in this article were carefully chosen. The three main sources used were the Polarcus’ annual reports for the years 2009 to 2011. They were the official copies released for all stakeholders’ disposal. All in all the sources used can be considered valid and credible because they offer information that directly came from the Polarcus itself.


After reviewing all three annual reports, we can safely say that Polarcus Ltd. has grown into a large seismic and maritime company. Their startup ventures were not easy. They used to have to work with only two operations seismic/maritime vessels during their startup and now, it’s totally different. By the end of 2011, they were already using a total of 6 vessels. The financial figures speak for themselves. Their financial figures continuously grow every year despite the heavy investments for the acquisition of additional vessels and other expansions.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Polarcus Ltd.’s story can serve as a good example of a rapidly and continuously growing company as a result of good corporate governance. It started as a small seismic and maritime company (in terms of workforce size) in 2008 and rose as one of the fastest growing Seismic and maritime companies in the industry. Reviewing their annual reports from 2009 to 2011 would only lead to the discovery that Polarcus is on the right tract in terms of corporate growth and development. There is really nothing we can say to the current management because they are doing a great job. The only thing that concerns us is the risk of overspending. It would be nice to allocated budgets for a particular year in advance to prevent overspending which, no matter how large the revenue is, could be devastating.


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Polarcus Limited. (2009). Polarcus Limited Annual Report.
Polarcus Limited. (2011). Polarcus 2010 Annual Report.
Polarcus Ltd. (2012). Polarcus Limited 2011 Annual Report.
Tisheva, P. (2012). Polarcus Wraps Up Sale of Seismic Vessel to Turkish Petroleum. SeeNews Shipping.