Belfast Telegraph

Wilsons Auctions expansion sees 15% rise in turnover for 2018

Peter Johnston, group operations director at Wilsons Auctions
Peter Johnston, group operations director at Wilsons Auctions
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Mallusk-based Wilsons Auctions has posted a 15% surge in turnover to £28.1m for 2018.

The Co Antrim company is now the largest independently owned auction group in Ireland and Britain, operating from nine bases across Northern Ireland, the Republic, England, Scotland and Wales.

Pre-tax profits slightly improved to £2.7m over the 12 months to March 31, 2018, with the group retaining a gross profit margin of 41%.

The growth follows Wilsons acquisition of Newport Auctions in November 2017, extending the group's operation in south Wales. The workforce stood at 356 for the reporting period, 8% up on 2017.

The firm holds over 2,000 auctions per year selling everything from cars and vans to yachts, designer goods and jewellery.

Last month Wilsons revealed that its criminal assets division, which markets stolen and recovered goods on behalf of police forces and governments, had expanded from one person to a team of around 50 in the last five years. Wilsons now represents 90% of law enforcement agencies in the UK and Ireland, in addition to contracts in Belgium, Malta and the Balkans, with deals expected to be sealed in Nigeria and in Malaysia.

The company said yesterday that it has spent just under £5m on improving and upgrading its existing facilities and acquiring new sites and businesses.

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Its branch in Newcastle in England has recently undergone a major refurbishment. Group operations director Peter Johnston told the Belfast Telegraph: "In recent years Wilsons Auctions has seen significant growth as a result of successfully tendering for new business in the public and private sectors across the UK, Ireland, and in recent months our asset recovery department has secured work with international clients.

"Wilsons Auctions has taken time to strategically invest across its business as part of its growth strategy, with the expansion of departments, creation of jobs as well as the acquisition of new branches which is reflected in this healthy financial growth."

Belfast Telegraph

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