Belfast Telegraph

O'Hare & McGovern announces £3.7m loss after contract trouble

By John Mulgrew

Construction giant O'Hare & McGovern has seen turnover soar by almost 50% to £122m despite significant losses. The Newry firm's turnover climbed to £122m, from £83.3m, for the year ending December 2015, accounts for parent group Carnbane House Ltd showed.

But while sales increased, it suffered losses of £3.7m for the year. That comes after the company enjoyed profits of £3.5m just 12 months earlier.

The firm said that its "profitability was impacted by issues related to design procurement and supply chain challenges on a contract in Great Britain".

It added that its order book "remains strong" and it expects to return to profit this year.

In its strategic report, O'Hare & McGovern explained that uncertainty following the EU referendum added to the risks the business faces.

"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 material and labour, and customer credit risk," it said.

Speaking about future developments, the firm added it was "undergoing a restructuring process whereby companies within the group will be split into two distinct groups".

It explained that that would include "one for development and one for construction".

O'Hare & McGovern works across both the public and private sectors, including schools, across Northern Ireland.

The family company is currently run by managing director Eamon O'Hare.

Some of the biggest projects that O'Hare & McGovern has been working on this year include an expansion of The Quays Shopping Centre in Newry and the North Foreshore Film Studios, which are based at the Belfast Harbour estate.

Those behind the latter have said it will create up to 200 jobs during construction.

The project is being overseen by Belfast Harbour, covering around seven acres on the soon-to-be redeveloped Giant's Park, a 340-acre former landfill site.

O'Hare & McGovern was awarded the contract to begin building the two film studios and a sound stage, along with workshops and production space.

Mr O'Hare said the project was "one of the most exciting developments ever undertaken by the company".

"It's another showpiece project, which, when completed, will be the landmark building on Belfast Lough's foreshore," he added.

Elsewhere, O'Hare & McGovern also secured the main contract for call centre Concentrix's new grade A offices at the former Maysfield Leisure Centre. It is to employ 150 people as it builds on the city centre site.

The firm is also behind John Bell House in Belfast.

Its latest set of accounts show that the bulk of its work continues to be based in the UK. Turnover for UK work increased to £110m, while business in Ireland stood at just over £6m.

According to the accounts for Carbane House, staff numbers increased from 145 to 179. It said the highest paid director received £112,000.

Belfast Telegraph