PM Group boost sales as multinationals increase investment in 2012

Operating profits increase by 17 per cent to €8.1 million

PM Group, the Tallaght-headquartered engineering and project management company, boosted its sales last year by 10 per cent to €193 million as its mainly multinational clients loosened their purse strings and boosted investment in new facilities across the globe.

The company, which employs 2,000 people globally, including about 1,000 in Ireland, also saw its operating profits increase by about 17 per cent to €8.1 million. Its retained profits now stand at more than €36 million, according to accounts for 2012 provided to The Irish Times.

PM Group, which earlier this year announced a further 250 new jobs, provides engineering and project management services to large industrial firms. It specialises in helping them to build new factories.

"We saw a rebound in our core sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, food and data centres," said Dave Murphy, PM Group's chief executive.

“Many of the big firms in those sectors, who had tightened things up during the downturn, started reinvesting again during the year.”

The directors say in the accounts that the increase in revenues was down to an improved performance in markets such as Ireland, Belgium, Asia and the UK.

Mr Murphy said that some projects that relied on UK public sector investment, however, had come onstream more slowly than expected.

He also said the economy in Poland, where it has worked previously on projects for companies including Unilever and PepsiCo, had "suffered" during the year. "Some of the FDI [foreign direct investment] dried up."

The accounts reveal it is selling land in Poland valued at €1.86 million. Mr Murphy said this was because it had decided against proceeding with a previous plan to build new Polish offices for PM Group on the land, and it will continue to rent instead.

PM group said it is exploring the possibility of getting involved in shale gas projects in Poland with Gas Liquids Engineering, a Canadian company with which it signed a partnership agreement during the summer.

It said business in China, which it entered about seven years ago, had "slowed down" at the beginning of 2013, but that activity levels picked up later in the year.

In Ireland, it is working on projects such as Irish Distillers' €100 million distillery in Midleton, Cork. It has also been retained by Glanbia to work on an investment by the dairy company in Kilkenny.

Overall, PM Group said it expects the rise in group revenues to continue in 2013. “The order book looks good. We have ridden out the recession,” said Mr Murphy.

The group celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.