Engineering company BMD posts profits of €1m

Firm bought out of Bowen Construction from Nama expects turnover to rise by over 15%

BMD & Company, the specialist mechanical engineering contractor bought out of the old Bowen Construction Group, had profits last year of €1 million, according to accounts just filed.

Returns to the Companies' Registration Office show that BMD's sales were €24.2 million last year, 25 per cent less than the €32 million recorded in 2014. Profits before tax were €1.2 million compared with €2.4 million. Net assets remained stable at €7 million.

Managing director, Mike Walsh, said on Tuesday that the company has just begun work on a project in the UK likely to be worth about €1 million to €1.5 million to the business based in Little Island, Cork.

“We would expect turnover to grow by about 15 per cent to 20 per cent this year and the outlook for 2017 is very good,” he said. Mr Walsh said that the rate at which its mainly multinational client base has been tendering has been good.

BMD is more than 40 years old and focuses on industries such as biopharmacuetical production, oil and gas, and energy. The company supplies and fits the equipment used in theses industries. Its staff are mainly craft workers, engineers and surveyors.

A proportion of its work involves replacing and upgrading parts of customers' plant and equipment and the company draws most of it from Ireland and Britain. Clients in the past have included multinationals such as Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Novartis and others in that sector although confidentiality agreements mean that it does not name current customers.

It began life as a subsidiary of Bowen Construction. Five years ago Mr Walsh and his management colleagues bought the company out of the larger group, which the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) had just placed in receivership.

The deal, agreed with Nama's receiver, Paul McCann of Grant Thornton, saved around 200 jobs. While the Bowen group had property debts, which the State agency took over from the banks, BMD itself had no such liabilities. As a specialist it was not exposed to the worst of the crash, which hit mostly residential and commercial construction.

Mr Walsh said on Tuesday that its first few years as an independent business had their difficulties. “It was not all plain sailing,” he said. “There were times when we ran into cashflow difficulties, but we’ve come out of all that now.”

He added that the number of tenders BMD is dealing with has been increasing in recent months.

Mr Walsh also noted that while multinationals have a strong presence in Cork, there is concern at the rate at which the region is getting new mobile investment. A lack of sites with suitable infrastructure and services deterring overseas companies from setting up in the area.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas