Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: H&J Martin Holdings Ltd

By John Simpson

H & J Martin Holdings brings together the consolidated results for this group, a major construction contractor and developer operating from its headquarters in Belfast.

Against the background of the recession, which has affected on the overall level of construction activity in Northern Ireland, the company has maintained and increased the level of annual turnover.

During this decade annual turnover has more than trebled, as measured in current prices.

A fall in turnover in 2006 was the exception to a series of year-on-year increases usually of over 10% per annum.

Operating profits have proved more variable but fluctuations have not caused any significant problems. One exception is the impact of charging a bad debt of £289,000 to the profit and loss account in 2008. This provision distorts the yearly comparison between 2008 and 2009. Without this item, operating profit in 2008 would have been £1.179m and the increase into 2009 would be 40%. A similar allowance should be made in comparisons of pre-tax profits.

In addition to direct capital spending, in 2009 the group acquired Acuman Facilities Management at a cost of £2.4m. Acuman came with a client base mainly in the Republic of Ireland. As a result of this acquisition, the group placed on its balance sheet a goodwill value of £2.6m. In the half year to June 30, 2009, Acuman had a turnover of £10.7m.

H&J Martin has co-operated with other businesses in three joint venture projects. Two have involved major health service contracts, one with John Graham in the completed clinical building at the Royal Victoria Hospital, the other in partnership with Healthcare Technology to provide a new specialist cancer unit at Belfast City Hospital. The third is a joint venture, trading as FMP, where a large partner is specialist contractor, AMEY.

Each year the group has paid dividends to the shareholders costing £65,000 in 2009. Since other post-tax profits are retained, the balance sheet value of shareholder’s funds has risen each year and at the end of 2009 was £12.8m, up 10% on 2008.

Belfast Telegraph