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Overseas Contracts & Healthcare Interest boost Profits 11% at Sisk
PROFITS AT construction group Sisk grew 11 per cent last year to €9 million on the back of strong performances in a number of overseas markets and increased returns from its recently acquired healthcare distribution businesses.
Sisk Group has Civil Engineering & Contracting Businesses in Ireland, Britain, Europe and the Middle East, and owns a number of healthcare distribution companies with operations here and in the UK. The company said yesterday that sales in 2010 were steady at €1 billion, while operating profits grew 6 per cent to €30.4 million last year from €28.7 million in 2009.
Profits after tax, calculated after accounting for a number of items, including goodwill, amortisation and exceptional charges, were €9 million in 2010, 11 per cent ahead of the €8.1 million recorded the previous year. The group ended the year with a strong balance sheet. Shareholders’ funds were €204 million, more or less on a par with the end of 2009.
It had €176 million in cash and bank balances at the end of last year, down from €221 million 12 months earlier, and its bank loans and overdrafts were €61.3 million, as against €62.1 million at the end of 2009. The group employs 1,900 people, and has redeployed Irish staff to a number of countries as the industry here has slowed.
Chief executive Liam Nagle said that close to half the group’s turnover came from Britain in 2010. He calculated that 46 per cent of its turnover came from there in 2010 compared to 23 per cent in 2009. Sisk has won a number of large projects there, including a section of the London Crossrail Tunnel and the Olympic Athletes Village Accommodation. Mr Nagle said Sisk had increased its overall scale in Britain. “At one stage we would have been bidding for work in the £14 million to £15 million range. Now we are getting jobs ranging from £60 million to £90 million.” He acknowledged that conditions had tightened in Britain this year, but its statement said yesterday that its order book there for this year remains strong.
Mr Nagle pointed out that the market there is still worth £100 billion, compared with between €8 billion and €10 billion here. Sisk has also won contracts for three projects, including two hospitals, in the United Arab Emirates. Mr Nagle said the Middle Eastern Market was growing more competitive as more contractors go there in search of projects.
In Eastern Europe, the company is working on three projects in Poland comprising a total of 92km of motorway. It is working in partnership with another Irish company, Roadbridge, on one of these.
Sisk began diversifying its business out of out of construction in 2005, when it began buying healthcare distribution businesses.