Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland builder Gilbert-Ash's pre-tax profits quadruple as turnover rockets to £180m

Victoria Square (pictured) and the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque feature in the new Gilbert-Ash exhibition launched by Ray Hutchinson this week
Victoria Square (pictured) and the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque feature in the new Gilbert-Ash exhibition launched by Ray Hutchinson this week
The Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque
Ray Hutchinson
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Pre-tax profits at Northern Ireland builder Gilbert-Ash rose almost four-fold last year, the company has announced.

The firm behind landmark projects such as the Victoria Square shopping complex and Causeway Visitor Centre saw its profits rise from £2m to £7.6m over the past 12 months on the back of an 8% rise in turnover to £179.4m.

The revenues are well above the construction, refurbishment and fit-out contractor's pre-recession peak of £138m.

The company now employs more than 180 people, with offices in both London and Belfast.

Gilbert-Ash's wide-ranging workload on both sides of the Irish Sea spans the arts and culture, workplace, hotels and leisure, science and technology, retail and residential sectors.

It recently completed the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque in Cambridge and the new £17m headquarters for the Royal College of Pathologists in London.

Closer to home, it signed off on the £21.5m AC Marriott Hotel in Belfast and a £22m student accommodation scheme at Great Patrick Street.

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Now the company has confirmed that it has started work on a £5m project for its new office complex on the Boucher Road, close to its current headquarters.

The recent growth was marked with a new exhibition at The MAC, Belfast.

Around 150 people attended Wednesday's launch of the 'As One' collection, celebrating 23 projects completed by the firm.

The company has attributed its strong performance to what it called its 'As One' approach, coupled with its working culture and family environment as an employee-owned company.

Gilbert-Ash managing director Ray Hutchinson said: "As we recognise the recent success of many projects and our continued growth as a company, we felt it was the perfect time to step back and take a moment to understand why we have reached this point; and this exhibition is the result - a celebration of collaboration and our signature can-do style.

"We have had the privilege of working with visionary clients, partners and suppliers, and we really do work as one to pursue excellence, delivering innovative, bespoke buildings all over the world.

"Gilbert-Ash is an employee-owned company which certainly leads to a unique working culture.

"Our success is in no small part down to this environment and the hands-on attitude of our dedicated team - often going above and beyond to deliver stunning buildings while confidently facing and overcoming challenges that can often be encountered."

The images have been selected and interpreted by The MAC's senior curator Hugh Mulholland.

"As One is a considered collection that brings together imagery from Gilbert-Ash's most recent, highest profile projects," he said.

"In totality, the exhibition symbolises the company's 'as one' approach. But take a closer look and you'll discover that each photograph does too.

"Wood, glass, stone and the environment in which each building exists work together to create a unity much greater than the sum of the parts."

Belfast Telegraph