McLaughlin & Harvey’s revenue has topped half a billion pounds for the first time.
The Belfast-based contractor reported turnover of £513.4m for the year ending 31 December 2019, up from £422.7m the previous year. The jump was fuelled almost entirely by the group’s construction work, which increased from £358m in 2018 to £450m. Revenue for its distribution and landfill businesses was broadly flat.
The group has won a number of significant jobs in the healthcare market in recent years. It is currently working on a new £68m critical care unit for King’s College Hospital in London and the extension of the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. Last year saw the company scoop a £175m contract to redevelop part of Edinburgh marina (pictured) and land places on 11 lots of the government’s £30bn Crown Commercial Service construction framework. The group said its order book and tender opportunities for 2020 were “very healthy”.
Cash reserves for the business rose significantly in the year to £84.2m, up from £56.4m in 2018. Net current assets stood at £31.5m. A dividend of £3.9m was paid to the company’s owners.
The group is currently in a legal dispute with HMRC and Revenue Scotland over landfill taxes paid by subsidiary Barr Environmental Limited. It is waiting on the outcome of an appeal against a decision Revenue Scotland made about the amount owed for the four years to the end of 2018. A ruling is not expected until late 2020 and the directors said they were confident that the company had paid the correct tax. They warned, however, that if the tax assessments by HMRC and Revenue Scotland are upheld in full, then Barr Environmental would become insolvent and cease trading. The waste management company’s last set of filed accounts for 2018 showed a pre-tax profit of £4.1m on revenue of £34.9m.
The group’s accounts, signed off on 17 June, made only a passing reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. It said the directors had reviewed the situation and did not believe any provisions or extra disclosures were needed “at this stage”.