Sicon sees big jump in operating and pretax profit to €8.5m

Sisk holding company says full-year turnover rose 17.4% for work in Ireland and UK

 Sisk’s holding company reports that  full-year turnover rose 17.4 per cent from €774.4 million to €909.1 million

Sisk’s holding company reports that full-year turnover rose 17.4 per cent from €774.4 million to €909.1 million

 

Irish construction firm Sicon, the holding company for Sisk, announced a pretax profit of €8.5 million for 2014, up from €1.5 million a year earlier.

The company reported a 15.2 per cent rise in operating profits from €7.9 million to €9.1 million and said full-year turnover rose 17.4 per cent from €774.4 million to €909.1 million.

It also announced that Gary McCann, who is stepping down as chief executive at Smurfit Kappa next month, would be taking up his role as group chairman in the early autumn.

Sicon said trading conditions improved considerably last year and that it was well positioned to avail of opportunities that could arise as the economy continued to recover.

It forecast turnover would rise by 10 per cent over the next 12 months, with the increase coming equally from both Ireland and the UK.

“We are very pleased to report that Sicon increased its activity and operating profit levels during 2014 and that each of our businesses have responded strongly to challenges posed during the year. We are optimistic about the prospects for the group in 2015 and beyond,” said chief financial officer Ger Penny.

Debt levels

The group said the sales breakdown by geography was fairly evenly split across the UK and Ireland.

In construction, activity on the island of Ireland was solid with activity rising by 6 per cent compared to the previous year. In the UK, turnover rose 26 per cent, with the group saying it secured a number of research and pharmaceutical contracts as well as several large civil engineering and energy projects.

The company, which derives a small amount of turnover from the Middle East, said during the year it completed work on two developments in Abu Dhabi and was involved in a hospital project for the UAE government in Sharjah.

“The overall blend of the business is good, with turnover evenly split between Ireland and the UK. We have a strong business in Ireland which has secured a number of high-profile projects in recent times. We will continue to consider opportunities in the Middle East on a project-by-project basis,” Mr Penny said.

Origo, Sicon’s distribution arm, whose brands include Bosch, Stihl and Viking, saw turnover rise by 14 per cent from the prior year on the back of improved consumer sentiment.

Meanwhile, Sicon’s property investment and development arm Korine disposed of a large site in Reading during the year but continues to hold a number of investment and development properties, both here and in the UK.