Newry's Mac Group posts loss after 'most challenging trading environment ever faced'

An office development on Dublin's Shelbourne Road, recently completed by the Mac Group.

NEWRY-based Mac Group has posted a £2.4 million loss for the 18 months to June 2021, describing it as one of the most challenging trading environments the construction company has ever faced.

The specialist building firm, which operates across the island of Ireland and Britain, recorded a turnover of £183.5m for the period.

The Mac Group said it opted to extend the normal 12-month reporting period to 18 months in order to “encapsulate all negative headwinds” in a single set of accounts.

Although turnover increased from the last set of accounts in 2019, the monthly average was down by almost 25 percent.

The company said the slump was a direct consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the Irish Government’s mandated lockdowns and the legacy effects of a now completed loss-making project within one the group’s subsidiary companies.

Group chief executive Paul McKenna said: “The challenges of Covid-19 on the business in Ireland were severe, with seven months of the 18-month reporting period generating minimal revenues as a result of government mandated shutdowns.

“We retained all our key staff during this tumultuous period, even though working from home doesn’t work for site-based staff.”

During the latest reporting period, the Mac Group’s Irish construction division delivered a number of headquarters buildings for clients including Valorem Investment Partners, October Investments and Ryanair.

Mr McKenna said: “We continue to diversify our project portfolio and create future pipeline opportunities in a wide range of sectors, including commercial, industrial, fit out and data centres.”

The group boss said the secured order book stands in excess of £120m, involving projects for repeat clients including Amazon, Fidelity, MasterCard, Workday and Henderson Park.

“While we still face a challenge in dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and more recently the issues thrown up by Brexit, we are confident that we will exceed our targets for 2022/3,” continued Mr McKenna.

“We have also made several key appointments to strengthen our senior management team including Brian McArdle our new finance director.

“With experience of a data driven industry from his time with First Derivatives, Brian has already made huge improvements in the quality of data and reporting across the group, which bodes well for our continued controlled expansion. The group expects all divisions to return to profit in 2022.”

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