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Profits surge to €7.2m at Irish timber group Brooks


Murdock Builders Merchants CEO James Higgins

Murdock Builders Merchants CEO James Higgins

Murdock Builders Merchants CEO James Higgins

Profits at the company behind Brooks timber suppliers and merchants soared 71pc to €7.2m in its last financial year even as Covid restrictions persisted in the period and input costs jumped in the construction sector.

Turnover at the group rose to €91.2m from €85.6m, newly-filed accounts show.

The group was acquired last year by Newry-based Murdock Builders Merchants, headed by James Higgins, from Welsh firm Premier Forest Products.

The accounts for Premier Forest ROI for the year to the end of April last year show that a dividend of €833,000 was paid to its Welsh owners in the period.

That compared with a €1.5m dividend that was paid the year before.

The Irish unit ended its last financial year with €9.5m in cash and cash equivalents on its books, up from €6.3m the year before.

Brooks Timber and Building Supplies is Premier Forest ROI’s biggest subsidiary.

Accounts just filed for that unit show its turnover edged €1m higher to €74.3m in the year to the end of last April.

It posted a pre-tax profit of €5.6m for the financial year, compared with €3.5m the year before.

The accounts for the subsidiary note that all its activity is associated with the building sector.

“The strong performance for the financial year was assisted by good economic growth and the continued market growth in new-build and RMI [Repair, Maintenances and Improvement] markets,” the directors add in the accounts.

They forecast another strong performance for the financial year that ends this April.

The subsidiary also warned in the accounts that there was significant pressure on supply chains during the year caused by increased worldwide demand for timber, panel products and building materials, restricted manufacturing capacity and demand for container shipping logistics.

“These challenges resulted in shortages of core building materials, longer lead times and a significant increase in product price inflation in Ireland,” the accounts note.

Newry-based Murdock Builders Merchants bought Brooks Group last summer. It used an Isle of Man-based entity to effect the acquisition.

Murdocks operates 10 outlets and two timber processing plants in Northern Ireland. It also had four merchanting outlets in the Republic prior to the acquisition.

Brooks has a history that dates back to 1750.

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