Belfast Telegraph

Profits double to £13m as Co Tyrone auction firm Gardrum Holdings expands into Dubai

By John Mulgrew

A Northern Ireland plant auctioneering firm has seen its profits more than double to £13m in the space of a year.

Gardrum Holdings, which trades as Euro Auctions, saw pre-tax profits surge from £6.5m to £13.1m in the year to December 31, 2016.

The firm, which has its base in Co Tyrone, has undergone recent expansion, including opening a new site in Dubai earlier this summer.

The company has its head office in Dromore. It was founded by Derek Keys and is still a family-run business.

The latest accounts show that, despite its huge profit boost, turnover fell from £84.1m to £78.4m in the last year. It's also expanded its workforce, growing staff numbers from 221 to 292 in the space of 12 months.

In its strategic report, the firm says it is "engaged principally in conducting off-site and on site machinery auction sales and valuations throughout Europe, Australia and the US".

Speaking about its latest performance, it says "the directors consider the results for the year and the position of the group at the year end to be satisfactory".

"The group will continue to seek every opportunity to increase profitable turnover including, but not limited to, the purchase of trade of Yoder & Frey Auctioneers Inc, in January 2017".

The director also "anticipates that the group will remain profitable in 2017".

"The director has in place plans to ensure the group is strongly placed, going forward."

The strategic report says that "performance in the sector is affected by general economic conditions and specific sectoral factors".

"Sales are more prevalent in the growing economies, where more infrastructure developments regularly take place.

"The group's active review of market prices both provides protection and maximises opportunities from anticipated price rises."

Euro Actions has taken on a new 22-acre site in order to deal with its burgeoning business in the Middle East.

At the time, Jonnie Keys, commercial manager at Euro Auction, said "as part of the continued global Euro Auctions brand expansion, the Middle East, and in particular the United Arab Emirates, was always the next country in which to establish a strong and stable operating base.

"We have many good relationships with buyers and sellers in the Middle East and Africa and this new auction location will enable us to create stronger relationships with our customers in this region and open the door to many new buyers and sellers," he said.

The firm held its first auction in Dromore in 1998, and expanded elsewhere in the UK in 2000, setting up a site in Leeds in 2002.

It then expanded into Germany in 2006.

It also has subsidiaries in Australia, Spain and the US.

The company is the largest auctioneer of construction machinery in the UK.

In September, the company held its first auction in Hong Kong.

That included selling off around 400 lots, across a range of heavy plant machinery products.

Lots included a large range of 45 tonne excavators, more than 20 articulated dump trucks and 10 mobile cranes.

Belfast Telegraph