Kingspan Stadium builder Heron Bros sees sales and profits rise
A Northern Ireland construction firm that built one of the new stands at Ulster Rugby's Kingspan Stadium has increased its turnover by almost 10% to more than £57m. Family-run Heron Bros Ltd also increased pre-tax profits from £2.02m to £2.6m, according to the latest accounts for the year ending February 2016.
Heron Bros works in Northern Ireland, the Republic, Britain and Europe.
It now employs around 240 staff, a rise of almost 30 based on the company's accounts for last year.
Speaking about the performance, it said: "Turnover continued to grow at sustainable levels again as a result of the company's expansion in the UK market.
"Although there are signs of economic recovery, the market continues to display volatility both at a local and national level.
"We are, however, encouraged by a strong balance sheet, order book and opportunities for the year ahead."
One of its flagship projects was the stand at Ravenhill in Belfast.
"The development boasts 20 corporate boxes and 530 premium seats, as well as an exclusive bar and lounge facility," the firm said.
It added that it had a "loyal and long-serving management team and workforce who continue to work efficiently to increase market share and maximise margin".
"Expansion will continue to be driven through consolidating in conjunction with the company's property division."
The company said it was "optimistic that there are further opportunities for growth and expansion".
Aside from building a host of stadia across the UK, it also works in retail, office and industrial construction.
It was behind the City Quays 1 office development for Belfast Harbour.
"We were tasked to deliver a functional and uplifting building at the right cost, with high quality designs and specialist components seamlessly integrated," it said. The City Quays 1 building is home to global law firm Baker McKenzie, as well as Cayan and BRS Golf.
On its website, Heron Bros says it has "combined traditional values with an advanced innovative approach to construction that delivers excellence in project value, quality and client satisfaction".
It was set up by six brothers in 1956. It has grown and diversified into construction, land and property development, joinery manufacture, quarrying and building supplies.
Between 1983 and 1985 Heron Bros Ltd became the largest private landlord of industrial land in Northern Ireland.
It is currently headed by group managing director Damian Heron.
Some of its recent projects include the North West Regional Science Park in Londonderry.
The building provides 50,000 square feet over four floors of workspace on the banks of the River Foyle.
It was also behind Ulster University's Faculty of Arts academic block in Coleraine. That involved the construction of a new three-storey building within the existing campus, connected to an existing block.
In Scotland, Heron Bros built the Stevenson Building for Glasgow University, a five-storey sports centre, administration space and a new Students' Union nightclub, The Hive.