Belfast Telegraph

FP McCann's turnover soars by 22% on back of investment in R&D

FP McCann, headed by Eoin McCann carrying out a project in Birmingham
FP McCann, headed by Eoin McCann carrying out a project in Birmingham
FP McCann, headed by Eoin McCann carrying out projects in Birmingham and (pictured) Manchester Airport
Eoin McCann
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Turnover at FP McCann, one of Northern Ireland's biggest concrete product manufacturers, climbed by 22% to reach £254.5m last year.

Profits at the Magherafelt-based company, which added 218 staff in the year, fell by 10.6%, according to a report.

However, the company's product and construction divisions recorded huge rises in revenue in the 12 months to December 31.

Construction turnover rose from £36.8m to £50.9m, while the firm's concrete product manufacturing wing recorded revenues of £202.5m - up by £35m on the previous year.

FP McCann said that in addition to its pre-cast products, it had seen growth in its surfacing, engineering and ready-mix concrete solutions divisions.

It is also working on private housing contracts.

The company, headed by Eoin McCann, runs 12 UK manufacturing facilities, including its Knockcloughrim headquarters, near Magherafelt, and two quarries it acquired in Lisnaskea and Armagh in recent years

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The vast majority of the firm's revenue (£250m) was derived from UK business.

Kieran Fields, FP McCann's marketing manager, said the company had been on a sustained growth trajectory for more than 10 years.

"Organic growth (and) strategic acquisitions have allowed us to increase both our product portfolio and our geographical coverage," he added

The increase in activity saw FP McCann's workforce grow from 1,374 in 2017 to 1,592 by the end of 2018.

Mr Fields said the manufacturer had been continually investing in research and development.

"The company has really invested quite large in the development of new technologies," he stressed.

"We are leading the way in terms of digital development and how it's incorporated, not only within how we work with our clients but in how we can develop that technology to integrate with our manufacturing processes.

"The recent investments the company has made over the last couple of years have allowed that integration to work seamlessly.

"We have invested heavily in a new research and development facility."

However, Mr Fields expressed concern about new proposals from the Government around arrangements for a no-deal Brexit that would see goods travelling from the Republic into Northern Ireland without tariffs, in a bid to keep the border open.

"We compete in the UK market with a number of companies, not only from mainland Europe but the South as well," he said.

"The obvious concern for us would be that there would be a threat or an unfair competitive advantage for manufacturers of pre-cast, in particular, providing products into the UK.

"The only thing we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

"We have done everything that we can do, but it is difficult to prepare for something when you do not know what to prepare for."

Belfast Telegraph