Mallusk-based Wilson's Auctions doubles profit

Wilson’s is the largest independently owned auction house in the UK and Ireland
Andrew Madden

WILSON'S Auctions brought the hammer down on a successful 2016, nearly doubling its operating profit to £1.5 million.

In their latest accounts filed with Companies House, the auction house also recorded a 31 per cent increase in their turnover last year, from £11.1m in 2015 to £14.6m in the year to the end of march 2016.

Wilson's is the largest independently owned auction house in the UK and Ireland, now operating out of seven centres following its acquisition of two new premises in England last year.

In a strategic report filed with the accounts, Wilson's directors said they welcomed their financial position at the end of the year.

Under the risks and uncertainties facing the business, the directors noted that one of the most serious threats to their business is its online operations.

"The business relies heavily on the stability of its IT systems and is therefore at risk from external threats to the network and website," they said.

"The group continually maintains and updates software to protect against external attack while operating a back up process to allow business to both continue and be restored in the event of accidental or deliberate failure of the IT systems."

Wilson's employed 221 people last year, an increase of 72 staff from 2015.

This workforce accumulated an annual wage bill of £4.2m, while the firm's directors were remunerated to the tune of £547,000.

The company's total tax bill for the year was £377,000.

A family owned business, Wilson's Auctions was founded in 1936 by William J Wilson and is now under the guidance of his son, Ian.

The firm conducts both property and government auctions, with items listed ranging anywhere from vehicles and houses, to antiques and furniture.

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