Ambitious North Sea independent Parkmead has delivered its first profit after seeing its asset base double inside a year.

The firm, taken over by Tom Cross three years ago, has gone from having no oil and gas assets in 2011 to becoming a significant presence in the North Sea.

Now the company has posted a £3.1million pre-tax profit after a year of increased growth and snapping up producing assets on the UK Continental Shelf.

The half-year profit to the end of 2013, compared to a £2.7million loss during the same period in 2012, came before the firm’s oversubscribed £40million share issue last month.

“Parkmead has significantly increased its oil and gas production, delivering enhanced cash flow to the Group,” said Mr Cross.

“This has been achieved through two key acquisitions of UK producing assets and Parkmead has generated a maiden profit before tax of £3.1million.”

The firm took a 30% stake in the Athena field last year, after taking over Lochard Energy Group and buying an increased stake from EWE Vertrieb, and recorded its first oil revenues from the field.

It also picked up five new licences in the 27th round last year, bringing its interests across the UKCS to 30 prospects, with work underway on mapping the sites on the North Sea and West of Shetland.

Cross, who built up Dana Petroleum before selling it for £1.7billion in 2010, said the company would look to invest heavily in applications for further blocks, beginning with the 28th round in April.

The potential for a significant gas find at the Pharos prospect, where Parkmead is a stakeholder, is also expected to be determined this year as data from analysis of the discovery is reviewed.

That work, and further exploration, will be funded through February’s £40million share placement, which will help cover future costs.

“The discovery at Pharos could add further value to the Platypus gas field, strengthening Parkmead’s position in the UK Southern Gas Basin,” said Cross.

“The company was pleased and encouraged by the support it received from a number of high quality institutional investors.

“This new financing has put Parkmead in a strong position to deliver additional growth.”