Belfast Telegraph

Newry firm builds on its success by doubling turnover

By Margaret Canning

Newry construction firm O'Hare & McGovern has said it's "never been busier" as it unveiled a near-doubling in turnover to £68m.

Pre-tax profits at the family firm, led by Eamon O'Hare, were also up £0.5m to £3.6m in the year to December 31, 2014.

O'Hare & McGovern is the main contractor on the £35m revamp of national football stadium Windsor Park in south Belfast and the Olympia Leisure Centre project nearby.

Work obtained in Great Britain includes a contract to build a school in Boroughmuir, Edinburgh and an apartment block contract in West London.

The workforce of 136 was up from 97 the year before.

Managing director Eamon O'Hare said he was "delighted" with the results, which have been filed at Companies House.

"The company has come through some very difficult and demanding years, but I'm proud to say that it has emerged in an extremely strong position, and is getting stronger.

"We are involved in some fantastic schemes here and in Britain and hopefully the order book will stay full. It's an exciting time. I can't recall us being busier."

A strategic report accompanying the results said: "The construction opportunities secured by the company towards the end of 2013 were realised in 2014, resulting in a 98% increase in turnover to £68.2m."

Other work it is involved in includes the refit of the old Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education (BIFHE) building, John Bell House in College Square East.

It is also working on a centre for experimental medicine (CEM) for Queen's University on the site of the City Hospital.

But the strategic report said conditions continued to be tough despite the stellar rise in turnover.

"The business environment in which we operate continues to be challenging with the key commercial risks being market conditions, the uncertainty surrounding public expenditure levels, competitive pressures, costs of raw materials and labour and customer credit risk."

O'Hare and McGovern has been among local construction companies who have secured big public and private sector contracts in Great Britain to make up for the slowdown on home turf.

John Armstrong, the managing director of trade body, the Construction Employers Federation, said: "Any improvement in turnover is very welcome, as are any positive signs from our major construction companies.

"It proves that our construction industry is extremely competitive and produces superb outputs.

"Our one concern is that while it's great that work is being done by our construction companies outside Northern Ireland, we need to see a lot more at home."

Investigations are being carried out into cracks in Windsor Park's West Stand, also known as the Kop, which appeared in March this year.

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