Business

Profits at south Derry construction group rise four-fold

Conway Group's Des Taggart, Kevin McGurgan and Padraig Callaghan with Ards and North Down mayor Bill Keery at the new Premier Inn Hotel in Bangor
Ryan McAleer

PROFITS at south Derry construction group Conway increased more than four-fold to £6.5 million last year, a new report produced by the company has shown.

It followed a 12 month period where the Magherafelt-based contractor recorded a turnover of just under £22m, a 27.7 per cent rise on its 2017 performance (£17.2m).

Founded in 1974 by PJ Conway, the group still publishes its accounts as PJ Conway Contractors Ltd.

The grouped accounts include the company’s healthcare business, which runs eight care homes around the north. The homes comprise four under the Brooklands brand in Dunmurry, Magherafelt, Antrim and Kilkeel. The Conway Group also runs the Kilwee Care Home in Dunmurry, Edenballymore Lodge in Derry, The Cottage in Coleraine and the recently acquired Ailsa Lodge in Bangor.

Conway’s healthcare subsidiaries Brooklands Healthcare Ltd and Merit Retail Ltd, each reported pre-tax profits of around £1.2m last year. The £2.36m total was slightly down on the £2.6m from 2017.

The latest report for the group states that the recent upturn in turnover and profit is the result of new property development contracts as well as the purchase of the Ailsa Lodge nursing home in Co Down. The company’s directors also state that the rates charged by the group had increased.

The report also revealed an increase in staff last year, averaging at 528 during the 12 months to December 31 2018.

Some of the Conway Group’s recent high profile work has included projects for Premier Inn, most recently the hospitality chain’s new Bangor hotel, which opened in the summer.

However in recent months, the Derry firm has turned its eye on Belfast city centre, with a number of significant projects in the pipeline.

They include three large residential schemes. Two are in the vicinity of the Cathedral Quarter next to Royal Mail’s headquarters and St Anne’s Square. The third is at Holmes Street, close to Bankmore Square, where the Conway Group developed the 10-storey CentrePoint office building in 2007.

The Conway Group has also been linked to a potential hotel development on Dunbar Street on the edge of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Business