Belfast Telegraph

Co Tyrone firm Creagh Concrete aiming to build on £3m pre-tax profit

By Margaret Canning

Family-run firm Creagh Concrete in Co Tyrone said it has made a "significant turnaround" as it reports pre-tax profits of £3m compared to £1m losses last year.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, managing director Seamus McKeague said: "Our business has made a significant financial turnaround over the last financial year after coming out of a very difficult trading period."

But turnover at the Ardboe firm dropped from £72.5m to £57m in the year to the end of March 2015 - however, it cut distribution costs and administrative expenses in order to report better pre-tax profits.

Mr McKeague said the company has improved its performance and taken investment in sales and marketing, as well as revising its pricing strategy.

And Creagh Concrete had also reorganised "to become a leaner and more profitable business and regain the confidence of key stakeholders".

"The business was restructured into four main profit centres to ensure ownership of profits at board and divisional level," he said.

There was also a freeze on capital expenditure at the company.

Employee numbers fell from 554 to 430 as the company aimed to cut costs.

The firm made £55.7m in sales from its core concrete products business and separately, pre-tax profits of £864,000 from a restaurant and bar.

Its results said: "The level of business during the year and the year-end financial position were considered to be satisfactory.

"The trading results have improved significantly compared to the previous year.

"The directors identified the specific reasons for the losses in previous years and took direct action to prevent their recurrence.

"The company has made a number of strategic decisions resulting in significant business reorganisation and rationalisation and has returned to profitability this year."

Creagh Concrete was set up in 1974 in Creagh, Toomebridge to manufacture concrete blocks, and has grown into one of the biggest concrete manufacturers in the UK and Ireland.

It has previously won praise for its ability to survive in tough times.

In response to the latest accounts, Mr McKeague added: "The key to our success is down to the commitment and dedication of our employees, who have worked tirelessly to secure Creagh Concrete's future."

Belfast Telegraph