Saturday 29 April 2017

Former Quinn firms optimistic as profits rise

Liam McCaffrey, the chief executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings
Liam McCaffrey, the chief executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Quinn Industrial Holdings, part of Sean Quinn's former manufacturing empire, remains optimistic for its future despite Brexit and the group having significant operations in the UK.

Some 70pc of the company's revenue was generated in the UK last year and 50pc in Britain. Its core operations straddle the Border in Ireland.

The group released results for 2016 yesterday, which showed that its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 10pc to €18.2m, while pre-tax profit jumped 62pc to €6.8m. Revenue declined, however, by 4pc to €194.5m.

Revenue fell on a reported basis due to the relative weakness of sterling in 2016 compared to 2015.

Quinn Industrial Holdings' (QIH) operations comprise the packaging and construction industry supply (CIS) businesses that were once part of the Quinn Group. The units were acquired in 2014 from Aventas. The buyer was QBRC - a company that includes a group of former Quinn executives - and backed by Aventas financiers, including Brigade Capital, Contrarian Capital and Silver Point Capital.

The former Quinn executives involved in the buyout include Liam McCaffrey, who is now chief executive of QIH.

Mr McCaffrey said the group had continued its capital-investment programme in 2016, underpinning its competitiveness and efficiency.

QIH's capital-investment programme totalled €11.5m last year, and saw the company replace fleet and mobile plant, and add cement storage capacity at its import facility in Kent in England. Its packaging division also installed new equipment.

Mr McCaffrey said that Brexit posed challenges and that the firm would continue to assess the UK's European Union exit negotiations. The UK triggered the exit procedure last week.

"Whatever the outcome of discussions between the EU and the UK, our focus is on those factors which fall within our control and ensuring an efficient supply chain to Britain, which accounts for some 50pc of our sales," he said.

The group, which employs 777 people, added it was "optimistic" for its future despite the Brexit threat.

The group's plastics division supplies all the major UK supermarket chains, as well as many of the largest food-processing companies.

QIH chief financial officer Dara O'Reilly said that the current year has "commenced positively" for both the CIS and packaging businesses.

Mr McCaffrey initiated legal action against Facebook this year in an effort to identify individuals who made allegedly defamatory comments about QIH and its management.

Irish Independent

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