Belfast-based building firm Gilbert-Ash doubled profits to £11m in 2020

Gilbert Ash opened its new £5m headquarters at Boucher Place in Belfast during 2020.

BELFAST-headquartered construction firm Gilbert-Ash doubled its profits to £10.9 million last year, a new set of accounts show.

The building and fit-out specialist recorded an eight per cent rise in annual turnover to £176.2m for 2020, up from £163m in 2019.

Despite the impact of the pandemic across the economy in 2020, Gilbert Ash said the accounts reflected a period of strong growth for the group, with a broad portfolio of construction projects completed across the arts and culture, workplace, hotels and leisure and education sectors.

Projects completed in 2020 included the £24m Royal College of Music project in London; the £18m St Edward’s School quad development in Oxford, and the £42m Canterbury Christ Church University Building in Kent,

The year also saw Gilbert Ash open its new £5m headquarters at Boucher Place in Belfast.

Managing director, Ray Hutchinson said: “These strong financial results are testament to the outstanding work of our people and the trust and continued support of our clients and supply chain partners.

“In what was an incredibly challenging year for all, we are proud to have continued to maintain both healthy turnover and profit-levels and to be in a position to support the people who work for us. Coupled with a healthy pipeline, this puts us on a strong track for the future.”

The company also confirmed the payment of an exceptional dividend of £9m, stating that it reflected the firm’s “achievements in becoming a more profitable company over the last five years, strengthening its balance sheet while realising its diversification strategy”.

Mr Hutchinson said the company had made great progress in implementing its five-year strategy.

“The effects of which are now becoming visible,” he said.

“The highly demanding situation with the coronavirus did not deter us from pushing forward with our client projects while prioritising the health and safety of our team and supply chain partners. I am very proud of our entire team – we really showed our mettle and resilience this last year as well as strength of our relationships with clients.”

In more recent months, Gilbert-Ash recently completed the £14m Merchant Square building for PwC in Belfast.

The Belfast-based firm said it has forecast a healthy 2021, with notable new projects including the £35.5m National Portrait Gallery development in London.

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