Creagh Concrete acquires Lough Neagh sand extraction firm Norman Emerson

Deal by Toome-based concrete specialist was completed on June 13

Aerial view of sand extraction operation on shore of Lough Neagh.
Norman Emerson Group's base on the shore of Lough Neagh, close to Lurgan.

Precast manufacturer Creagh Concrete has completed the acquisition of Co Armagh sand specialist the Norman Emerson Group.

The deal, first reported by The Irish News in April, was completed on June 13.

Based on the southern Lough Neagh shore, between Derryadd and Derrytrasna, Norman Emerson has been in business since 1945.

It’s one of a handful of companies licensed to extract sand from Lough Neagh.

The Co Armagh business is also involved in hard rock quarrying, gravel pits and the production of ready mixed concrete.

The third-generation family-run business employs around 60 people.

Its most recent set of published accounts (up to December 2022) show the business swung from a profit in 2021 to a pre-tax loss of £254,000 on sales of £8.3 million.

Creagh Concrete recently reported a ten-fold increase in pre-tax profit.

The Toome-based concrete specialist increased its turnover by 3% to a record £116 million in the year to September 30 2023.

But the company’s profit before tax surged from just half a million pounds in 2022 to £5m last year.

According to Companies House, Creagh Concrete Products Limited took control of the Norman Emerson business on June 13.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

George Emerson, managing director of Norman Emerson Group, said: “This is a significant milestone in our company’s history, and we are excited about the opportunities the transaction will bring to our customers and colleagues.

“We look forward to leveraging the strengths of Norman Emerson Group and Creagh together, to enhance our overall capabilities and provide an excellent service for our customers.

“Since we founded Norman Emerson Group in 1945, we have always focused on delivering the best customer service, supporting our people and growing our business, and Creagh is the perfect partner for us as we continue to deliver on these goals.”

Creagh managing director, Seamus McKeague, added: “We are delighted to welcome Norman Emerson Group to the Creagh team as we continue to focus on expanding our Solutions business’ geographic footprint.

“Norman Emerson Group has built up a huge amount of experience over the course of its history and has an outstanding delivery team. The combination of our businesses will significantly enhance our offering, while also strengthening our ready mix and aggregate capabilities across the Creagh group.”