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Pretax profits at Walls Construction drop slightly to €4.1m

Revenues surge by 17% at firm that built the Central Bank last year

Walls Construction Ltd built the Central Bank on North Wall Quay, Dublin last year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/ The Irish Times

Pretax profits at the construction firm that built the Central Bank HQ last year declined marginally to €4.1 million as revenues surged.

New accounts for Walls Construction Ltd show that the business recorded the slight drop in pretax profits from €4.16 million to €4.1 million as revenues increased by 17 per cent from €162.6 million to €190.32 million in the 12 months to the end of December last.

Shareholders of the company enjoyed their second big pay last year since a management buyout (MBO) in 2015 with parent company, Walls Construction Holdings Ltd receiving a dividend of €4.7 million. This was a repeat of the dividend paid out in 2017.

The MBO was led by management and a number of private investors that includes a number of shareholders in PJ Walls Holdings Ltd.

Established in 1950, Walls is one of Ireland’s oldest and largest construction firms and the directors state that the business has a strong order book for 2019 and a good line of sight into 2020 and they expect that the company will continue its growth and build on its financial trading position.

The flat profits last year came after cost of sales increased by 17 per cent from €152.17 million to €178.14 million while administrative expenses went up by 28 per cent from €6.3 million to €8.13 million.

Along with the Central Bank building on North Wall quay in the capital, other stand-out projects for the company include the 3Arena, LinkedIn’s EMEA HQ, Ballymore’s Dublin Landings project, the Kerry Food Global Technology & Innovation Centre in Co Kildare and the Morrison hotel in Dublin.

Numbers employed by the business last year increased from 169 to 206 as staff costs increased by 26 per cent from €13.49 million to €17.9 million. Directors’ remuneration declined from €1.88 million to €1.8 million. The business recorded post tax profits of €3.82 million after paying corporation tax of €273,655.

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