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Stewarts 'very happy' despite 31pc fall in profits

ONE of the country's largest school-building firms Stewarts said yesterday that it "is very happy" with how the business performed last year, despite a 31pc fall in pre-tax profits to €223,623.

Accounts lodged by Stewarts' owner JSL Group show that the company recorded the decrease in pre-tax profits after revenues dipped from €22.3m to €22m in the 12 months to the end of April.

Rachael Stewart, who is business development manager with the company, said yesterday the group "is very happy" with last year's performance.

The Galway-based firm is 110 years old and started off making church pews.

Margins

"In the current year, the company continued to record satisfactory levels of activity and trading margins," according to the 2011 accounts.

"The company operates in an industry which has been hugely affected by the economic downturn. There are fewer contracts available and margins have been reduced due to strong competition. However, the directors are confident the company will continue to win further contractors due its reputation and quality of work."

The great-granddaughter of company founder James Stewart, Ms Stewart, said: "Our aim is to sustain that level of turnover.

"Stewarts has continued to remain profitable, despite the severity of the recession in construction work," she said.

Irish Independent