Tuesday 20 March 2018

Profits surge to €16.2m at former Quinn operations

Liam McCaffrey, CEO of Quinn Industrial Holdings
Liam McCaffrey, CEO of Quinn Industrial Holdings
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Profits at Quinn Industrial Holdings, part of the former manufacturing empire of Sean Quinn, hit €16.6m last year as its turnover surged 25pc to €203m.

The earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) compared to the €6.2m in EBITDA the business earned in 2014. It made a profit before tax and exceptional items of €5.9m last year, compared to a loss of €14.6m a year earlier.

The company's operations comprise the packaging and construction industry supply (CIS) businesses that were once part of the Quinn Group. The units were acquired in December 2014 from Aventas. The buyer was QBRC, a company that includes a group of former Quinn executives, and which was backed by existing 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 Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH). He said that 2015 had been a "transformative year" for the group.

"The continuing support of our investor group for QIH's ongoing capital investment programme marks a major endorsement of our strategic direction and future prospects and will assist in our target of delivering a further improvement in profitability and employment in 2016," he said.

A death threat was made against Mr McCaffrey last month, while contractors working on former Quinn wind farms have been sent bullets in the post. A handwritten letter was sent to staff working for Danish energy firm Vestas warned them to "stay away" from a windfarm or "face the bullet" and noting it was a" final warning".

QIH said that the business benefited from the strength of sterling last year. A significant proportion of its revenue is derived from the UK. But it added that underling margin improvements were achieved "across the board", despite the one-off impact of acquisition costs.

QIH chief financial officer Dara O'Reilly said that the company now has a "solid platform for sustainable progress".

"Both businesses are trading strongly year to date and we look forward to implementing the next phase of our strategic plan in the period ahead," he said.

During the year, the average number of employees at QIH increased from 656 to 721. The group said that the average wage at the company also rose 5pc last year. The company plans capital investment totalling €14m this year.

Irish Independent

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