Sales surge 47 per cent as Dowds Group outperforms market

The landmark new Ulster University campus in Belfast is among the many projects Dowds Group has been involved in the last year
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BALLYMONEY-based Dowds Group has reported a near 47 per cent increase in sales in the year to March 31 after it said it "outperformed many of its competitors".

And the working capital and liquidity of the company also improved significantly, with cash and cash equivalents rising threefold from £2.6 million to £8.7 million and its financial assets jumping from £750,000 to just shy of £2 million.

Dowds, which designs and builds mechanical and electrical services within large-scale education, healthcare, industrial and commercial facilities, also revealed in its accounts that its current order book for the next 12 months "is strong, despite marketing conditions".

Each division of the company recorded a profit, the directors said, with Dowds' overall pre-tax profit lifting from £1.76m to £1.93m.

Founded in 1978, Dowds Group is a national mechanical, electrical and specialist contractor with a diverse range of clients across the UK and Ireland, and in addition to its Ballymoney headquarters it has Belfast and London offices.

Its latest accounts show that staff numbers at the firm rose from 196 to 219, with its wages will rising from £9.3m to £10.5m, though the overall directors' remuneration fell back around £10,000 to £801,444. The highest paid of the eight directors received £129,575 (up from £126,392).

On taxation, Dowds saw its corporation tax bill fall from £336,050 to £183,852, due in the main to an adjustment on previous trading years.

The whole of the trading year covered by the latest results came in the Covid period, and the accounts show that Dowds availed of around £375,000 under the government's furlough scheme.

In a strategic report with the accounts, the directors said: "Whilst market conditions have remained competitive and project delivery has become more complex due to the pandemic, the company has continued to invest in its people, news technologies and quality systems.

"We continue to target larger scale and more complex projects, winning work off the back of our reputation for high technical capability, quality, dependability and performance.

"Looking to the future, the directors are trying to enhance a culture of innovation to ensure the company remains at the cutting edge of change within the industry."

Earlier this month Dowds Group won the "One-To-Watch" category at the Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards for showing significant developments in its CSR strategy, while it was also named as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies by Deloitte.

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