Business Irish

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Building recovery helps profits soar to €11m at Sean Quinn's former empire

CEO Liam McCaffrey highlighted growth trends
CEO Liam McCaffrey highlighted growth trends

Margaret Canning

Growth at its export hub has helped manufacturing giant Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) to a 59pc jump in pre-tax profits to €10.8m, its latest figures show.

Company chief Liam McCaffrey said the business - formerly part of the empire of fallen Co Fermanagh tycoon Sean Quinn - was investing in the future, despite major economic challenges.

It said growth at the cement export hub in Warrenpoint Harbour, Co Down had contributed to the performance, with sales up 7pc to €209m.

Job numbers at the company were steady at 800 though they were up 23pc on 2014.

QIH is made up of Quinn Building Products in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh and Quinn Packaging in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.

The building division sells materials including insulation, cement, aggregates and quarry products.

QIH said it had benefited from recovery in the construction sector south of the Border as well as stronger exports to the UK through the Warrenpoint facility. "2017 saw a continuation of QIH's growth trajectory since its establishment in late 2014," said Mr McCaffrey.

"Progress has been facilitated by ongoing investment and by our 800 staff, who have again excelled by delivering on quality and service.

"Despite the significant macro-economic challenges posed by Brexit, we continue to invest, grow sales, innovate and drive margin growth.

"Encouragingly, volume growth trends from 2017 are continuing year to date in 2018 and at this point we are firmly on track to deliver our fourth successive year of strong earnings growth."

He said the company had ploughed €26m into the business, with a spend of €7.6m in 2017.

"Post year-end we are taking delivery of a further 33 new trucks as part of a €3m fleet upgrade, with further investment planned.

"This ongoing investment reflects QIH's positive outlook for the business and our commitment to driving sustainable growth post-Brexit."

Chief financial officer Dara O'Reilly said higher volumes were driving margin growth and generating a return on recent investment.

"Despite a relatively weak sterling exchange rate during the period and a shortage of raw material for our insulation products, the performance for 2017 remained robust.

"Current trading for both our building products and packaging businesses remains strong and based on a continuation of these trends we are targeting further growth for both divisions."

Quinn Industrial Holdings was formed in 2014 to acquire two of the key divisions of the Quinn Group.

The group collapsed into administration under the weight of borrowings from Anglo Irish Bank.

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