Sales hike at Warrenpoint hub helps Quinn Holdings report rise in profits
Growth at its Co Down export base has helped manufacturing giant Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) to a 59% jump in pre-tax profits to €10.8m (£9.4m), its latest figures show.
Company chief Liam McCaffrey said the business - formerly part of the empire of fallen Co Fermanagh tycoon Sean Quinn - was investing in the future despite major economic challenges.
It said growth at the cement export hub in Warrenpoint Harbour had contributed to the performance, with sales up 7% to €209m (£182m).
Job numbers at the company were steady on the previous year at 800, though they were up 23% on 2014.
QIH is made up of Quinn Building Products in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, and Quinn Packaging in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.
The building division sells materials including insulation, cement, aggregates and quarry products.
QIH said it had benefited from recovery in the Republic's construction sector as well as stronger exports to Britain through Warrenpoint.
Mr McCaffrey said: "In 2017 we saw a continuation of QIH's growth trajectory since its establishment in late 2014.
"Progress has been facilitated by ongoing investment and by our 800 staff who have again excelled by delivering on quality and service.
"Despite the significant macro-economic challenges posed by Brexit, we continue to invest, grow sales, innovate and drive margin growth.
"Encouragingly, volume growth trends from 2017 are continuing year to date in 2018 and at this point we are firmly on track to deliver our fourth successive year of strong earnings growth."
He said the company had ploughed €26m (£22.7m) into the business, with a spend of €7.6m (£6.6m) in 2017.
"Post year end we are taking delivery of a further 33 new trucks as part of a €3m (£2.6m) fleet upgrade, with further investment planned. This ongoing investment reflects QIH's positive outlook and our commitment to driving sustainable growth post Brexit," he added.
Chief financial officer Dara O'Reilly said higher volumes were driving margin growth and generating a return on recent investment.
"Despite a relatively weak sterling exchange rate during the period and a shortage of raw material for our insulation products, the performance for 2017 remained robust," he added.
"Current trading for both our building products and packaging businesses remains strong and based on a continuation of these trends we are targeting further growth for both divisions."