Doubling of pre-tax profits at Walls
THE BUILDER of the O2 arena in Dublin last year bucked the trend in the construction industry. In accounts just filed, Dublin-based Walls Construction Ltd more than doubled pre-tax profits to €4.6 million after revenues increased by 4 per cent to €11.7 million.
John Nolan, head of business development and marketing, said yesterday that the firm was “very happy with last year given the very tough trading conditions”.
The firm is currently fitting out Google’s 15-storey Montevetro building in Dublin and Mr Nolan said fit-out projects now accounted for a third of the firm’s revenues.
“We are quite positive about the future and see an improvement right across the construction sector – in industrial, commercial and public work,” he said. “We are under no illusions about the conditions in the industry but there are grounds for optimism – prices are more solid and there is less below cost tendering.”
Mr Nolan said the firm had acted early in the downturn to address its cost-base “and today, we have a very competitive cost base”.
The firm is currently working on a €12 million contract at the Blackrock Clinic that involves the construction of a new Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
A note attached to the accounts states that the firm “has agreed in principle to a three-year facility with the National Asset Management Agency and a number of other banks which will enable the group to continue its trading operations and allow for the successful growth of the group’s construction division”.
Aggregate remuneration, including pension contributions, for the firm’s five directors, Eugene O’Shea, Joe McGillycuddy, John Cahill, Adrian Corcoran and Frank Kelly increased by 24 per cent last year from €1.29 million to €1.6 million. The firm paid dividends of €7,794 last year compared to a €30 million dividend payout in 2010.