Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Heron Bros Ltd

By John Simpson

Heron Brothers is a long standing family-owned business, based in Draperstown, which has been working in construction and property development for 60 years. In the most recent financial year, to February 2017, the company enjoyed much improved trading results.

The strategic report from the company attributes the significant increase in turnover, up to nearly £95m, partly to a timing issue, where new building starts in the previous year had been delayed, and partly to a policy of selective tendering on a smaller number of larger schemes, along with an increase in some property-related contracts.

The company also benefited from the first part of a strategic land sale.

The company reports that it does not expect to maintain this much higher level of turnover in the year now underway.

A feature of the trading accounts was a profitable gain on the sale of a subsidiary company, which meant that a gain of £8.7m was added to the pre-tax profit results.

This one-off gain sits alongside improved operating profits.

Employment generated by the business was slightly higher, at an average of 244 employees during the year.

Heron Bros works in Northern Ireland, the Republic, Britain and Europe.

The retention of post-tax profits led to an increase of over £12m in the balance sheet value of the shareholders’ investment, which was over £69m at the end of the year.

The company has the distinction, among a number of accreditations, of being the first contractor in Northern Ireland to receive from Business in the Community the Core Gold Award.

The award is linked to the statement that corporate social responsibility is embedded in all its operations.

The main features of these policies are outlined in the formal company report.

The company, which built the new stand at Ulster Rugby’s Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, also says that it marked its 60th anniversary in 2016, which was “one of the most successful years in the company’s history”.

Aside from building a host of stadia across the UK, it also works in retail, office and industrial construction.

Belfast Telegraph