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Company Report: Lagan Construction

By John Simpson

Lagan Construction Group Holdings is one of the largest local civil engineering and construction businesses. It completes contracts at home and within and outside the EU.

The group is now a subsidiary of an Isle of Man-registered company of the same name. The group describes its activities as civil engineering, building, piling, plant hire, infrastructure investment and operations and maintenance.

Lagan Construction Group Holdings is a large part of the now divided former Lagan businesses. It consolidates the results for over 26 trading businesses making up the group. Results for 2015 and 2016 are classified on the new accounting standard and not fully comparable with results in 2014.

At the end of the recent financial year, this company disposed of its shareholding in Lagan Operations and Maintenance and Lagan Construction International (with their subsidiaries) to the immediate parent Isle of Man Company, creating an unusual payment through a dividend of £11m.

Group turnover in the year to March 2016, at £225m, rose by 12% compared to the previous year.

Operating profits rose in line with turnover. Pre-tax profits, year on year, improved in 2015-16 to reach over £6.7m: more than double the previous year. Pre-tax profits rose to £7.5m.

In the first four years of this newly constituted group, no dividends were paid to shareholders. In the two more recent years, modest dividend allocations were resumed.

Employment in the group, averaging 527 people in 2015-16, was up by just over 3% (or 17 people) compared to a year earlier. Significant sums have been spent on capital assets in each of the last two years: over £10m in each year.

The balance sheet value of shareholders' funds reached nearly £35m in March 2015. In March 2016, after some transfer of assets within the larger group, the balance sheet value of shareholders' funds had fallen to £30m.

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