Belfast Telegraph

Quarries firm posts profits of £6.4m after sale by Lagan Group

Senior role: Aidan Mullan Group
Senior role: Aidan Mullan Group
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

The former construction materials business of the Lagan Group has reported pre-tax profits of £6.4m as it warned of the effects of the absence of an Assembly.

Whitemountain Quarries Ltd was acquired by the east midlands-based Breedon Group in April 2018. It was part of a £455m deal, which included most of Kevin Lagan's former construction businesses.

Mr Lagan has retained ownership of the Lagan Homes enterprise.

In a report submitted to Companies House, Whitemountain Quarries Ltd reported a 21% increase in turnover to £76.6m for the year to December 31, 2018, with pre-tax profits also up 16%.

In a strategic report, the company said: "Despite being hampered by exceptionally poor weather in the first quarter and the absence of a local legislative assembly, which hindered progress on major infrastructure and housing projects, Whitemountain delivered a strong performance."

As a whole, the Breedon Group posted a revenue of £862.7m in 2018, with pre-tax profits just under £80m.

The acquisition of Lagan Group companies brought an additional 14 plants into the Breedon portfolio.

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Breedon reported: "One of the benefits of our acquisition of Lagan was the access we gained to the network of ports in Great Britain which are licensed to receive high PSV stone deliveries from Whitemountain's quarries in NI.

"This has greatly enhanced our ability to service our markets in England, Scotland and Wales with this high-value aggregate material."

Breedon also said the Lagan Group purchase had brought some "exceptional" senior managers into the group.

They include Aidan Mullan, who heads its business in Northern Ireland; Terry Lagan, who heads operations in the Republic; and Jude Lagan, who has assumed control of the group's cement business.

The Whitemountain Quarries Ltd report revealed that the company paid £1.49m in remuneration to the firm's directors in 2018, 66% more than during 2017.

The reporting period includes the transition period from Lagan to Breedon, with six directors in office for a period.

The highest paid director for the year received £894,000 in total remuneration.

The company now has four directors in place.

According to the report, staff numbers during 2018 averaged at 239, with a total payroll of £11.6m.

Belfast Telegraph