Belfast Telegraph

Gilbert-Ash turnover rises to £165m as company targets ‘niche sectors’

Gilbert-Ash’s Ray Hutchinson
Gilbert-Ash’s Ray Hutchinson
Sumptuous: The four-star AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast.
City of London Freemen’s School project
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Pre-tax profits at building firm Gilbert-Ash rose by 50% to £2m last year, the company has said.

Turnover at the construction, refurbishment and fit-out contractor was also up, rising by 12% to a record-breaking £165.5m.

It means turnover has increased by almost £50m in just two years at the firm, which employs 174 people across Belfast and London, and is above its pre-recession peak of £138m in 2007.

Gilbert-Ash said work across a range of ‘niche sectors’ had helped drive growth.

This year saw the Belfast-based firm sign off on the £21.5m AC Marriott hotel in the city’s docks area.

Its order book in Britain has also been healthy, with recent projects including the £19.5m Cambridge Mosque and the £20.5m new build of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, which boasts Dame Judi Dench as president.

Last year also saw Gilbert-Ash complete work on the award-winning City of London Freemen’s School swimming pool.

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Managing director Ray Hutchinson said: “Whilst market conditions remain highly competitive, the results emphasise the continued success of our strategy to focus on our strengths and invest in national and international markets to deliver landmark buildings.” Gilbert-Ash is currently on site at the Royal College of Music in London. It has also forged fruitful business relationships with the Whitbread hotel group, responsible for the Premier Inn chain, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, working on projects in 43 countries over the last 20 years.

Last year its workers were on-site in  France, Hungary, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

“Gilbert-Ash is an employee-owned company, which certainly leads to a unique working culture and family environment, and the results are in no small part down to this environment and ‘can-do’ attitude of our dedicated team,” said Mr Hutchinson.

“We have had the privilege of working with excellent clients, partners and suppliers.

“And we really do work as one to deliver innovative, bespoke buildings right across the landscape.”

Coming on the back of the strong financial results, Gilbert-Ash was recently recognised within the industry, winning the Contractor of the Year award at the UK Construction News Awards in July.

Belfast Telegraph