Belfast Telegraph

Takeover deal helps H&J Martin to make £60,000

By Margaret Canning

Construction company H&J Martin has said it is reporting an operating profit of £60,000 in its first year of trading after being bought over by Lagan Construction.

A spokesman said its accounts for the year ending March 31, 2016 showed that turnover at the firm halved from £98.5m to £47m over the period.

But the operating profit represented a turnaround from a loss of £5.7m in the year to March 31, 2015 before the firm was bought over.

According to the company, the turnaround was due to a strategy of selling non-core assets and focusing on more lucrative sectors such as fit-out and asset management.

Founded in 1898, it employs around 250 people.

H&J Martin managing director Jon Adams said: "We have been delighted with the turnaround in the business and with our refocused customer-centric model there is a healthy outlook for the company ahead."

Lagan Construction Group chief executive Colin Loughran said: "Strategically H&J Martin was a good fit for the Lagan Construction Group of companies and we are pleased how the company has integrated into our wider business."

Lagan Construction Group has received planning permission to extend its Belfast head office on Sydenham Road to accommodate H&J Martin's Belfast-based employees from their current Ormeau Road site.

As well as appointing Mr Adams as managing director, Lagan Construction has recruited a new finance director - Gerard O'Callaghan - to help the business to expand further in England and Scotland.

The company has offices in Manchester and Edinburgh.

H&J Martin recently won an award from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in the building conservation category for its work on behalf of the National Trust at Mount Stewart.

It continues to operate under its own name following the acquisition.

And its old premises at Ormeau Road are expected to be redeveloped at a later date.

Belfast Telegraph