Galway construction firm Ward & Burke reports record revenue of €409m for 2022

The company directly employs more than 900 people

Padraig Burke of Ward & Burke

John Mulligan

Galway-based international construction firm Ward & Burke will continue to focus on organic expansion after it posted record revenue of €409m last year, according to director Padraig Burke.

The revenue marked a 60pc increase on 2021, while its pre-tax profit jumped 44pc to €22.1m, accounts seen by the Irish Independent show.

The business, which now directly employs more than 900 people, benefited from increased activity across its markets in Ireland, the UK and North America. Having been active in the Canadian market for a number of years, Ward & Burke has also expanded into the United States, working in locations including San Diego and San Francisco.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Burke said that while challenges remain in terms of input cost inflation and the tight labour market, the company is confident of delivering a similar set of results for 2023.

Ireland accounted for 60pc, or almost €193m of Ward & Burke’s turnover last year. Just under €77m was generated in the UK and €139m from Canada and the United States. Ward & Burke had €108m in retained income at the end of 2022.

In Ireland, the company’s significant clients include Irish Water, while it also works with water companies in the UK on major projects. It specialises in micro-tunnelling, but its services extend across road and bridge construction to marine and coastal projects. Last year it was awarded a contract for the development of a €30m deepwater quay at Ros a’Mhil in Co Galway.

Mr Burke said that a lot of opportunities have opened up for the company over the past couple of years, and during 2022 it invested €3.5m in offices in London as it eyes further growth in southern England.

“It’s steady, organic growth in a controlled manner,” he said. “We never sit down and say we’re going to do a certain amount of revenue. We work on projects strategically and tender them strategically. We look for margin regardless of the project.”

He said that inflation in the construction sector has been largely material-driven.

“Overall, the wholesale price index is levelling out,” he said, while acknowledging that’s at a higher level that it would have been before Covid and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We’re not seeing the dramatic increases that persisted 18 months ago,” he added. “The contracts we’re involved with do have a price inflation mechanism.” Mr Burke said the group regularly attends colleges and schools to encourage students to enter the construction sector