Western Buildings Systems confirms record year

A Tyrone-based specialist building contractor has seen turnover surge and employment levels grow in its latest set of accounts.

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 6:00 am
London’s Imperial College
London’s Imperial College

Western Building Systems Ltd, which operates throughout the UK and Ireland and is best known for its offsite construction specialism, confirmed its turnover had risen by 72% from £24.78m to £42.77m for the period April 2019 – 2020. Meanwhile, pre-tax profit climbed to £1.86m and employment numbers rose by 20%.

Chief Executive, Martin McCloskey said the ‘record breaking’ performance could be attributed in large part to an increased focus on sectoral diversification, with major projects being won across health, education, commercial and housing.

Mr McCloskey, who founded the business 38 years ago, said the company had delivered a satisfactory performance in the face of increased competition, reduced margins and the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.

“Our designation as essential workers, in GB, NI and the Republic of Ireland enabled us to proceed with key scheduled projects, some of which included Covid-testing facilities. Although there was some interruption during the first lockdown, our teams were able to continue to work within carefully managed social distanced environments.”

During the period Western was awarded major projects at Limerick University Hospital (medical wards for 74 beds and a Covid-19-testing facility) as well major schemes at London’s Imperial College totalling £28m, two schools for the Department of Education and Skills in the Republic, a range of modular classrooms for the Department of Education in Northern Ireland worth around £5m and almost 200 private and social housing units. The company also added a fifth director, Mr Rory McGuigan during the same period.

Mr McCloskey said the pipeline for 2021 was strong and the directors anticipated similar turnover levels for the period between April 2020 and 2021. Having recently secured a £500,000 project for the NI Ambulance Service and modular accommodation for the NI Fire and Rescue Service, Western has also commenced a number of other major contracts at Hillingdon Hospital, London (60-bed medical ward), Batchworth Council, Watford (office accommodation), two new housing developments in Counties Armagh and Tyrone plus ongoing work with the NI Department of Education.

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