Belfast Telegraph

Northstone turnover falls to £261m

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland construction firm Northstone has reported a fall in turnover of 12% to £261m during 2015. Operating profit was £4.8m, which was up from £509,000 a year earlier, although the company's accounting methods have since changed.

The business said sales were down due to continued "challenging" market conditions, largely as a result of a contraction in construction contracts.

"Market conditions continued to be challenging in 2015 and the company, as forecast, saw a fall in turnover," it added. "This was largely as a result of contraction in construction contracts."

Employment at the firm grew from 986 to 991, while profit after tax was £3.3m, compared to a loss of £194,000 a year earlier.

At £206.7m, the bulk of turnover came from construction contracts, while around £54.7m was made in the sale of goods and services. Most turnover was made on operations in the UK, at £239m, while £16.5m was made on work that was carried out in the Republic.

However, turnover from UK operations was down 10% from £265.5m, and Republic of Ireland sales were down 30%. European revenues were down 45% to £4.3m.

But revenue made in markets in other parts of the world increased by 27% to reach £1.4m.

Northstone is part of Irish plc CRH - the Republic's biggest company - and trades in Northern Ireland as Farrans (Construction), Northstone Materials and Cubis Industries.

Farrans is the firm's building and civil engineering arm, while Northstone Materials is its building materials end.

Cubis Industries manufactures access systems for the utility industries.

Northstone NI's fall in sales came after fellow Northern Ireland builders O'Hare and McGovern in Newry and McLaughlin & Harvey in Mallusk reported losses of £3.7m and £5.4m respectively for 2015.

Belfast Telegraph