Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: John Graham Holdings Ltd

By John Simpson

John Graham Holdings is the Dromore based parent company for a large group of construction and other related businesses, including the fulfilment of contracts gained under the PPP arrangements.

The group describes its activities as building and civil engineering, project investment and asset management. There has been contracts on its order book from central and local government, health services, education facilities and leisure services.

Although business conditions became more difficult in late 2008 and into 2009, the group has managed to post results showing increased turnover and improved pre-tax profits.

Pre-tax profits include in 2007 an exceptional item of £8.4m so that the comparable figures excluding this item, in the successive years, were £4.4m, £1.5m and £1.7m. The ratio of pre-tax profit to turnover at less than 1% in the two most recent years points to a tight squeeze on margins.

After recording a net receipt of interest to add to operating profits in 2008, in 2009 the group recorded a small net interest payment after an increase in the value of bank borrowing during the recent year.

The group made annual dividend payments to shareholders totalling £0.75m.

Unusually, at the end of March 2009, the balance sheet value of shareholders funds fell slightly. A significant part of the reduction is a consequence of accounting for an increased liability on a defined benefit pension scheme. In the last year, the expected actuarial net deficit increased by just over £1m.

Average employment in the group increased significantly by nearly 50% in 2009. This runs counter to the overall experience of the wider construction sector.

Belfast Telegraph