Cookstown fuel group LCC closing in on £1bn turnover mark
Family-run Northern Ireland fuel group LCC has posted pre-tax profits of £18.8m, new accounts have shown.
Made up of a series of entities including LCC Coal, LCC Oil and Go Power, the Cookstown-based company saw its turnover hit £991m last year, a 16% rise on 2017.
Pre-tax profits were 5.6% down for the 12 months to September 30, 2018. However, it reported an operating profit of £17.8m.
The annual report showed the group increased its workforce by 26 people last year, now employing 256. The group said it consolidated its position as a leading importer and distributor within the coal and oil market in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
It said it had continued to roll out its 'Go' filling stations and increased its foothold in the gas sector and in Belgium.
"The group's trading performance continued to be impacted by the rising costs of energy. However, the directors have initiated steps to address this," noted its strategic report.
"The group is confident of the outlook in terms of sales and profits for the current year."
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The directors said they are continuing to seek out new opportunities "at home and abroad as they arise".
The LCC Group is one of the biggest operators based at Belfast Harbour, where it handles hundreds of thousands of tonnes of imported coal each year, most of it from Colombia. The Co Tyrone-based group has also established a successful coal enterprise where it treats and washes imported coal. It's understood it exports around one million tonnes of its treated coal around the world. It remains a major coal supplier for industry in Northern Ireland.
In 2017, the Cookstown energy firm bought the Cloghan Point oil terminal near Carrickfergus in a multi-million pound deal.
The company said it planned a £15m investment to accommodate larger oil tankers of up to 120,000-tonne capacity, but the bid has attracted opposition locally in recent months.