Belfast Telegraph

Pre-tax profits of £8.2m for construction giant Graham

Stability: Michael Graham
Stability: Michael Graham
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland construction firm Graham has reported pre-tax profits of £8.2m - a fall of just over 37% on the year before.

The company said the results - which have yet to be published on Companies House - showed that revenues had stabilised after years of steady growth. All divisions were profitable.

Turnover was £735m for the year to March 31 2019, while the company said it had an order book of £1.2bn.

However, at £735m, turnover was down 4% on the previous year's figure of £767.6m. At £8.2m, pre-tax profits were down from £13.1m a year earlier.

The Hillsborough-based company specialises in building, civil engineering, interior fit-out, facilities management and investment projects. It has around 2,000 employees.

It said that in the year ahead, it would continue to focus on quality projects through selective bidding and working with repeat clients.

Executive chairman Michael Graham said: "Graham continues to be in a strong financial position. First and foremost, these latest accounts indicate stability, particularly as we recorded profits across all of our divisions.

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"This will provide us with a solid platform to continue to grow sustainably.

"We have also produced a healthy balance sheet, with strong cash balances of £63m and no trading debt.

"Our intent is to continue to invest in the balance sheet to ensure we can be selective about the projects we work on and the partners we work with.

"Our focused approach to work-winning has accounted for our current order book of £1.2bn together with a strong presence in multiple frameworks, which will help maintain the group's healthy balance between public and private work.

"This leaves us well placed for 2020 with strong levels of secured work, and a forecast revenue of £875m."

He said the company has now launched a new business strategy, which looks to an optimum business size of £850m to £900m.

"We also want to be known as a business defined by the quality of our projects rather than the size of our revenue. So far, we have been very successful in this regard as quality has differentiated us, and we believe it will continue to do so.

"To maintain this standard, we will continue to significantly invest in training, systems and processes to ensure we get it right first time on site whilst ensuring Graham is a safe, accident-free place of work.

"2020 should also see Graham return to the top quartile of industry profitability with margins in excess of 3%."

Graham last week announced that it had finished work with joint venture partner BAM Contractors on a new £33m mental health centre at Belfast City Hospital.

And earlier this year, the company announced that it had been appointed to build and upgrade three railway stations as part of Crossrail, Europe's largest infrastructure project.

It's also working on the construction of a multi-million pound port terminal at Tilbury in England.

It has also worked on the construction of the Grand Central Hotel in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph