One of Northern Ireland’s oldest construction firms has reported a doubling in its pre-tax profits to £11m, with a healthy order book for the year ahead.
McLaughlin & Harvey Holdings Ltd in Mallusk, led by Philip Cheevers, said turnover had also grown by around 9% to £476m. Pre-tax profits were up from £5.5m.
The business, which has 431 staff — up slightly on the year before — carries out building and engineering contracting, property development and wholesale distribution.
However, the majority of its revenues — around £411m — were from construction, with £28.5m from the operation of landfill sites and the remainder from wholesale distribution.
In the last few months it’s completed the fit-out of UTV’s new studio at Belfast’s City Quays.
In a strategic report accompanying the results for 2017, the directors said they were “very encouraged” by the performance of the group as a whole during the year.
“The construction and civil engineering businesses showed a strong improvement in trading performance during the year. The current order book, tender opportunities and performance for 2018 is very healthy,” they said.
The group also operates an environmental business, which the report said had performed strongly. “With the benefit of a number of long-term contracts supported by well-invested modern infrastructure and machinery it is best placed to take advantage of market opportunities going forward,” they added.
It said that the balance sheet shows net assets of £50.6m supported by net cash of £39.2m.
It also paid a dividend of £200,000 during the year — down from £595,000 a year earlier.
The strategic report added: “Whilst market conditions in the UK and Ireland continue to be highly competitive across the business sectors we operate in, the ongoing investment in business development, infrastructure and in our people and skills base will ensure continued success for the group going forward.”
Subsidiary McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd reported pre-tax profits of £4.1m on sales of £267.7m during 2017.