Belfast Telegraph

Bumper contracts boost for Co Antrim building firm Dixons

By Margaret Canning

A Co Antrim building firm has said it's close to doubling its sales to reach £23m as it completes contracts in Britain. Family company Dixons Contractors of Ballymena said it had recently finished a multi-million pound job working on a sports academy at Perth College in Scotland.

Sales in the most recent period were up to £22.9m from £12.365m - an increase of 85%.

However, pre-tax profits had fallen from £418,252 to £362,441 in the year to March 2016 - a fall of 13%.

The company, which was set up in 1979, said it had experienced "significant" growth despite the fall of the pound and toughening market conditions following the Brexit vote.

Employee numbers had also grown from 55 to 77 over the year.

In a strategic report accompanying the results, Dixons Contractors' directors said they were "satisfied" with the numbers and would continue to "seek every opportunity" to increase turnover.

Looking ahead, the company said: "While market conditions remain highly competitive, the directors are encouraged by the level of post year-end contracts and anticipate a further significant increase in turnover.

"The company aims to strengthen their presence in sectors they already work in and selectively target new sectors."

The firm also faced risks to performance from "availability of contracts, competitor activity, variable labour costs and specific sectoral factors".

As well as contracts in Britain, the company has worked on Northern Ireland projects such as an extension of La Mon Hotel outside Belfast and new corporate entertaining facilities at Down Royal.

It's currently working on a new sports academy for Rainey Endowed School in Magherafelt.

The £7m structure it worked on at Perth College included gyms, dancing and fitness studios, facilities for hairdressing and beauty therapy students and a climbing centre.

Managing director Declan McKendry said: "The design and build project at the college was a tremendous development to be involved in.

"We delivered a modern building designed to be fully inclusive and accessible.

"We are extremely proud of what we have achieved and the facility is a great asset to the college in the future."

The company also carries out contract work, residential developments, building on sites in Ligoniel in Belfast as well as Ballynanhinch and Glengormley.

It has also completed work on a luxury development of homes called Red Bridge in Crawfordsburn.

The company was founded by Daniel Dixon snr, and is now run by Daniel jnr as chief execuitve, along with Mr McKendry as managing director.

While Dixons Contractors said the vote to leave the EU had not hit its performance, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) this week said firms' pricing in the industry was being affected.

The FMB said the industry was facing a "serious challenge" as material prices rise due to the falling value of the pound.

Around 70% of builders surveyed found that their costs were going up.

The pound has lost around 10% of its value against the euro since the EU referendum.

The increase in sales Dixons Contractors experienced as they reached £22.9 million, up from £12.3m

Belfast Telegraph