Heron Bros to keep focus on UK market amid continued economic uncertainty

Heron Bros reported a pre-tax profit of £5.6 million for the year to August 31 2021.
Heron Bros reported a pre-tax profit of £5.6 million for the year to August 31 2021.

SOUTH Derry construction group Heron Bros said its business will continue to focus on the UK market due to uncertainty within both the local and national economy.

In a new set of company accounts, the Draperstown-based operation, which employs around 290 people, declared a pre-tax profit of £5.6 million for the year to August 31 2021.

The Heron Bros business includes construction, joinery, manufacturing, quarrying, the supply of building materials as well as property development and investment.

At £84.5m, the group’s turnover reflected the impact of the pandemic over the 12-month reporting period, ending the year below pre-Covid levels from 2019 (£107m).

In the latest report filed with Companies House, Heron’s directors adopted a cautious tone, but said the firm’s order book remains strong.

“With continued uncertainty at a local and national level and to avoid spending troughs, the company will have a continued focus on the UK market," they said.

“We are however encouraged by a strong balance sheet, order book and opportunities for the year ahead.”

The directors said Heron continued to invest significantly in future-proofing its business during 2021 by maintaining an ongoing digital transformation programme.

In more recent months, Heron Bros has looked to increase its stake in the renewable energy sector.

The Derry firm announced a seven-figure investment west Belfast smart battery tech firm, The Electric Storage Company (TESC) in June. Heron is already heavily invested in the renewable sector via wind firm Simple Power.

Meanwhile, the South Derry group is also working with foodservice provider Sysco Ireland to develop a new £23m distribution facility at Nutts Corner.

“Growth will continue to be driven through consolidating the existing sectors within which we operate, alliance with long-standing customers, the pursuit of niche markets, residential developments, renewable energy, strategic joint ventures, and developments in conjunction with the company’s property division,” said the directors.

“The company continues 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.”

Heron Bros Limited is ultimately owned by an Isle of Man registered Heron Bros Holdings.