Business

Heron Bros to renew focus on UK market due to ongoing economic uncertainty

Heron Bros was recently recently presented with the CEF building in use award for its work on the Cancer Fund for Children Daisy Lodge centre in Newcastle, Co Down. Pictured (L-R): James McMullan, Heron Bros; Corinna Decodts and Raph O’Connor, NI Cancer Fund for Children; Kevin Hughes, Heron Bros
Heron Bros was recently recently presented with the CEF building in use award for its work on the Cancer Fund for Children Daisy Lodge centre in Newcastle, Co Down. Pictured (L-R): James McMullan, Heron Bros; Corinna Decodts and Raph O’Connor, NI Cancer Fund for Children; Kevin Hughes, Heron Bros

DERRY construction firm Heron Bros has renewed its focus on the UK market due to political and economic uncertainty during 2019.

A strategic review of the Draperstown company’s performance during the year to February 2019 identified “continued uncertainty at a local and national level”.

The building firm said that “to avoid spending troughs, the company will have a renewed focus on the UK market”.

In recent weeks Heron Bros secured its place on a £30bn UK government public works framework.

The company made it onto the shortlist in both Scotland and Northern Ireland for contracts ranging from £3m to £30m, which are expected to be awarded over the next seven years.

The latest company report for Heron Bros covered a year where it recorded a 43.4 per cent rise in turnover to £106.9 million, up from £74.6 million in 2018.

Pre-tax profits slipped from £8.6m to £5.4m during the same period, leaving a £689,000 tax bill.

The firm’s workforce marginally grew to 249 during the 12 months to February 28 2019, taking overall payroll costs up to £10.8m.

Directors remuneration during the year was listed at £1.56m.

Although headquartered in Draperstown, Heron Bros Ltd is ultimately owned by Heron Bros Holdings Limited, a company which is registered in the Isle of Man

The latest financial results disclose a year of internal restructuring within the company. The directors of the Derry firm said they had introduced changes to its workforce, management structures, operational procedures and audit controls during the 12 month period.

As a result, they said Heron Bros would be strategically positioned to continue its growth into 2020.

The directors added: “The company seeks to expand its current development model of site identification, design and build, sale or leasing of developments to both the private and public sector clients.”

The report also outlined how it had changed the structure for managing the group’s portfolio of property assets.

“Following group restructuring of the family shareholdings, Heron Bros Ltd now controls and is responsible for management of a property portfolio which now provides a sustainable annual profit for the company.”