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Walls Construction 'ready to face crisis challenge' as profits hit €7m

 

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'The company – one of the biggest construction firms in Ireland – saw its revenue jump 52pc to €290m.' (stock photo)

'The company – one of the biggest construction firms in Ireland – saw its revenue jump 52pc to €290m.' (stock photo)

'The company – one of the biggest construction firms in Ireland – saw its revenue jump 52pc to €290m.' (stock photo)

Pre-tax profits at Walls Construction surged 75pc to €7m last year, newly filed accounts for the business show.

The company - one of the biggest construction firms in Ireland - saw its revenue jump 52pc to €290m. It paid €2.8m in dividends and distributions during 2019.

Walls, whose managing director is Eugene O'Shea, was subject to a management buyout in 2015. Its directors said in the accounts that the company had continued to perform in line with its business plan last year.

Walls is currently involved in a number of projects including the major Cadenza scheme on Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin, which will see a 140,000 sq ft flagship office scheme built for Irish Life.

Walls had net assets of €22.5m at the end of 2019.

"The group's business plan envisages a steady growth, underpinned by ensuring that we have management structures and resources in place," the Walls directors noted in their latest set of accounts.

The accounts were signed off on April 23 this year as the pandemic saw a lockdown across the country, the directors said the company had a strong order book for 2020 and a solid outlook for 2021.

Walls noted that all of its construction activity during the lockdown was deemed non-essential. The company said it immediately secured its sites, briefed clients and commenced preparation of "robust back-to-work procedures".

"As the situation continues to evolve at this time, we are unable to quantify the effect that this pandemic may have on the construction sector in particular, or on the total general economic activity of the country," the company's directors said in April.

They noted that the company reviewed all its customer contracts and "put in place measures to protect the group against any penalties that may arise as a result of a delay in fulfilling any of our contractual obligations due to restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic".

The company analysed the effect of the pandemic on internal controls over financial reporting, as well as the potential impact on the recoverability of trade debtors.

"Arising from this, the group has modelled the cashflows based on a worst-case shutdown and a stepped return to full capacity informed by the timeframes from economies that are emerging from the crises [sic] and determined that the group has sufficient liquidity and capital resources to address this challenge," the accounts note.

As of April, the group was satisfied that all its clients remained committed to projects that were under way and that those clients had funding in place to complete them.

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