Sisk turns in €14m profit as overseas work picks up
Construction firm has a strong order book for rest of year
SISK said it returned to profit last year as construction picked up overseas.
The building company said it made a pre-tax profit of €14m in the last 11 months of 2012, compared to a pre-tax loss of €154.1m in the previous 13 months. That loss followed a disastrous foray into Poland, where the company ran into problems building motorways.
The swing to profit came as the company pared its turnover to €824.6m in the 11 months, compared to €1.14bn in the previous period.
"Although many of our businesses have faced challenging commercial environments, we are pleased to report that they have all responded strongly over the period and the group is now well positioned to avail of opportunities that may arise as the Irish and UK economies emerge from recession," said Liam Nagle, who is head of Sisk holding company Sicon.
The turnover breakdown by geography was: the UK 48pc, Ireland 46pc, the Middle East 4pc, and the rest of the world 2pc. Net debt at year-end was €20.8m, down substantially from €35.5m in the previous period. The group had cash balances of €93.5m, compared to €76m at the end of the last accounting period.
The balance sheet was strengthened by the issuance of 24 million new ordinary shares, which were fully subscribed by the Sisk families and which raised €15m in new equity. Shareholders' funds were €70.2m by the end of the year. "As previously indicated, we are pleased to report that Sicon returned to profitability during 2012 and that the business has responded strongly to the challenges posed to it during the prior year.
"The business is now performing well and to expectations. The UK is now our biggest market, while we maintain our position of strength in Ireland, with a foothold in the Middle East.
"We have a strengthened balance sheet, a strong order book and are well positioned to make progress in each of our markets in the coming years."
Despite problems in Ireland last year, the company reported: "The business has a strong order book for 2013, with a reasonable line of sight into 2014."
Sisk said it also had a strong order book in the current year in the UK and was making good progress in the United Arab Emirates, where it was involved in two major hospital projects and would shortly begin the construction of another large hospital for the UAE government.