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Business really looking up for Co Down glazing firm as pre-tax profits triple to almost £1m

By Margaret Canning

Published 07/09/2016

McMullen Facades won a deal to work on the facade of The Highwood, a high-rise residential development in London
McMullen Facades won a deal to work on the facade of The Highwood, a high-rise residential development in London

A Co Down glass business has tripled pre-tax profits to nearly £1m as it continues to secure new contracts in London.

McMullen Facades, which is based in Moira, employs nearly 200 people making glazing and specialist facades for buildings.

It has worked on offices and apartments in Belfast such as the Obel, the Boat and the Soloist.

While the company still bears the name of its founders, it has been part of the UK-wide Lakesmere Group since 2012.

It was founded as McMullen Architectural Systems in 1971 by Edward McMullen.

His son Ted took over the business in 1979 and is now chief executive of Lakesmere Group.

For the year to January 31, 2016, McMullen Facades reported turnover of £37.3m, up 44% from £25.9m the previous 12 months.

Pre-tax profits also grew from £310,838 to £968,981 as the company secured more deals.

It said that it expected turnover to continue to grow in the present financial year, thanks to a stable supply chain, high levels of demand and its dedicated workforce.

It added that it was now able to negotiate directly with clients as a preferred supplier, instead of entering the "protracted and uncertain route of competitive tendering".

The company was not available for comment, but it revealed that it had recently won new contracts working on high-rise residential developments in London.

In August, the firm announced it had secured a new £16m contract to deliver the full vertical covering for The Highwood in the Elephant & Castle district. Work on the deal is set to start in January 2017. And it will also be working with main contractor Laing O'Rourke on a £15m contract to provide the full pre-fabricated facade for Two Fifty One, a new 41-storey residential development in the capital.

The company has been based in Moira since it was set up in 1971, but it announced earlier this year that it is opening a new manufacturing premises on Mahon Road in Portadown.

In a strategic report filed with the accounts, the firm said its new premises were three times the size of the existing Moira site, and that with investment in new machinery and equipment, it now had seven production lines to increase its capacity.

The company has worked on the Evelyn Grace Academy in London, which won the Stirling prize for architecture in 2012.

Lakesmere Group itself has a turnover of more than £125m, and has worked on high-profile projects such as the London Aquatics Centre and Heathrow Airport.

Belfast Telegraph

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