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Coalisland firm Western Building Systems' turnover falls to £24.8m

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Western Building Systems in Coalisland specialises in modular buildings and off-site construction, carrying out work in the commercial, education and health sectors (stock photo)

Western Building Systems in Coalisland specialises in modular buildings and off-site construction, carrying out work in the commercial, education and health sectors (stock photo)

Alex Dodd

Western Building Systems in Coalisland specialises in modular buildings and off-site construction, carrying out work in the commercial, education and health sectors (stock photo)

Turnover at a Co Tyrone off-site construction firm has dropped by around 27% to £24.8m, its latest accounts show.

Western Building Systems in Coalisland specialises in modular buildings and off-site construction, carrying out work in the commercial, education and health sectors .

Pre-tax profit was also down 74% from £4.3m to £1m.

However, its accounts for the year ending April 2019 - which are dated November 29 - state that its current order book was "already very strong" and that post year-end trading was also strong.

In 2018 it was caught up in a controversy over structural issues at 42 schools it had built in the Republic.

Legal proceedings were started by the Republic's education minister Joe McHugh over the cost of remediation works to the schools.

However, the company said that the schools were certified by the department as being free from defects. It has also taken legal action against the department for non-payment.

Western Building Systems is owned by the McCloskey family.

Commenting on the accounts in a strategic report filed with the company accounts, director Martin McCloskey said: "The financial results for the year ending April 30 were considered satisfactory, set against a background of increased competition n the market and reduced margins.

"The company continues to focus on the education, health and commercial construction sectors. The outlook for the 2019/20 year is encouraging and company directors expect performance to be in line with 2019."

The company said that risks and uncertainties facing it included euro exchange rates, controlling costs, maintaining sales levels along with the economic recovery in the construction sector.

And it said Brexit would also have an effect on the company though it did not detail any possible impact.

Most funds were invested in sterling bank accounts though some sales and purchases were denominated in foreign currencies - but to mitigate risk, the company enters into forward rate contracts.

The business had £8.3m in cash at bank and in hand, down from £9.5m.

During the year the company added three production staff and four administration staff - bringing the size of its workforce to 61.

Its total wage bill was £2.5m, while its highest-paid director was on a salary of £75,481.

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