Wednesday 18 January 2017

Construction firm gives up hospital contract as security

John Paul signals plans to expand abroad amid difficult trading and falling margins

Emmet Oliver, Deputy Business Editor

Published 06/12/2011 | 05:00

ONE of Ireland's largest building firms, John Paul, has put a hospital building contract at St Vincent's Private hospital Dublin, and apartments with parking spaces up as security and collateral for an extended debt package with lenders.

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The contractor, which is reporting revenues of €105m for 2010, has also signalled plans to expand abroad as "difficult trading conditions'' continue in Ireland, with margins under pressure.

The company, which has completed major projects at Dublin Airport, UCD, Beaumont Hospital and Beacon Hospital, has reported an operating profit of €2.2m for 2010, down from €4.8m in the previous year.

Among the developments in 2010 was a three-year extension to existing loan agreements for its building at Classon House in Dublin 14. The accounts show that banks took charges over this building and nine apartments and three car parking spaces as part of this package.

The group also provided additional guarantees, including the building contract for St Vincent's Private Hospital and a charge over a deposit account containing €250,000.

The company mainly earns its income from Ireland and the UK, but is gradually looking elsewhere for opportunities.

"The group will continue to focus on projects in the healthcare and education sectors and civil engineering projects, and are confident of further successful expansion outside of Ireland,'' state the accounts.

The company's balance sheet is far stronger than many other building contractors and development companies, as it shows shareholder's funds running to €17.2m and cash at bank and in hand of €21.1m.

The company's payroll numbers have fallen from 204 to 155, with the total salaries dropping from €15.3m to €11.9m. Director's remuneration and pension contributions came to €1m, unchanged from the previous year.

The accounts also show that a director, DJ O'Brien, had a loan outstanding with the company worth €2.5m.

"This loan is non-interest bearing and is repayable in November 2012''.

Irish Independent

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