Profits almost double at Lagan Construction Group

Lagan Construction Group is working on the second phase of the City Quays development at Belfast Harbour

PROFITS at Lagan Construction Group have almost doubled a year after it took over H&J Martin.

Financials for Lagan Construction Group Holdings show a 74 per cent leap in pre-tax profits to £7.6 million for the year to March 2016.

The Belfast-based family-owned building firm had sales of £225.6m over the period - up 11.6 per cent on £202.m for the previous 12 months.

In their strategic report filed with annual accounts at Companies House, directors said they were "pleased to report continued profitability".

"Despite the challenging market conditions, the group has managed to maintain acceptable martins whilst also carefully managing the level of overheads," they added.

The report, which was approved by the board in October said there had been a "degree of uncertainty" surrounding the EU referendum result at the time its writing.

Looking ahead, directors said that although they "expect the global and national economic environments to impact on the overall construction sector, the group is well position to achieve its objectives of revenue growth and maintaining profitability through good revenue visibility and a strong order book".

The group had net assets of £30.4m at the year-end compared to £34.9m the previous year while directors paid a £2m dividend, against £4m in 2015.

A further £11m had been distributed via a dividend in specie during the year.

The company works across Ireland, Britain and beyond carrying out, infrastructure, capital and maintenance projects for public and private organisations.

Among current projects is the construction of a triple-decker roundabout in north Tyneside while the firm also worked on the dualling of the A8 between Belfast and Larne.

It is also working on the second phase of the new Ulster University Belfast campus and has started construction of the second City Quays office block in Belfast's harbour estate.

Founded in 1962 by Peter Lagan, the original company split in 2010 to form Lagan Construction Group, lead by his grandson Michael Lagan and the Lagan Group.

Following the take over of former rival H&J Martin last year, directly employed staff numbers increased to 527 from 510 however many more than that are supported via subcontractors.

The group's overall wage bill was £25.3m compared to £23.3m the previous year.

Directors were paid a total of £1.1m with the highest paid receiving £339,219 including pension contributions.

Lagan Construction Group acquired H&J Martin in April last year in a move that safeguarded around 900 jobs.

H&J Martin has already reported a return to profit with £60,000 operating profits recorded for the year to March 2016 compared to losses of £5.7m the previous year.

The results came on a much reduced turnover of £47.6m for the year - less than half the £98.5m in 2015.

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