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Larne minerals firm Kilwaughter sees profits rise to £9.4m in ‘challenging year’


Chief executive officer at Kilwaughter Minerals Gary Wilmot

Chief executive officer at Kilwaughter Minerals Gary Wilmot

Chief executive officer at Kilwaughter Minerals Gary Wilmot

The parent company of minerals processor Kilwaughter Minerals has reported profits before tax of £9.4m on turnover of £42.9m for the year to the end of April this year.

Kilwaughter Holdings, which is based outside Larne, quarries limestone mainly for the construction and agricultural industries. It makes through-colour renders, external wall insulation systems, soil health conditioning minerals and livestock bedding lime solutions.

Its just-published accounts reveal an 11% increase in turnover to £42.9m from £38.5m in 2020. Profits before tax were £9.4m, compared to £5.4m in the previous 12 months.

The company described the financial results as “hugely positive” against “a difficult backdrop of challenging trading conditions and the coronavirus pandemic.

“As the economy has emerged from the onset of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, we have worked hard to service a sustained surge in demand for our products,” Kilwaughter Minerals chief executive officer Gary Wilmot said.

“Investment has continued on multiple fronts including £1.9m on infrastructure and capacity enhancement, with further investment also directed towards our product portfolio and our innovation focus through our research and development capability.

“This has enabled us to maintain our position as a leading supplier within our market segments in the UK and Ireland and positions us for further growth in the months and years ahead.”

Kilwaughter recently opened a new Business Support Centre following an investment of £1.75m in the 9,000 sq ft office facility.

The facility, which opened earlier this month at the company’s 75-acre site, will connect to Kilwaughter’s R&D facility and previously opened Centre of Excellence which focuses on product development and customer training respectively.

The new building “includes open-plan office space for over 50 employees, a, welcoming canteen area, multiple meeting rooms and break-out areas to further enhance employee collaboration and cohesion”.

At the opening, Mid and East Antrim Mayor William McCaughey said: “The company is not only a key employer here in the Mid and East Antrim borough but a catalyst for growth in the wider Northern Ireland economy.

“I am therefore thrilled to see it continue its investment in its facilities for the benefit of employees and customers alike, and very much look forward to seeing what Kilwaughter will achieve here in the future.”

Recruitment in 2021 has seen staff numbers edge over 200 while the headcount of the company’s research and development department has grown by 50% as part of a long-term £3.4m investment programme in innovation.

The group’s brands include Kilwaughter Lime, K Systems and K Rend, the UK and Ireland’s largest independent silicone render manufacturer.