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Barr Holdings profits up by 65% but challenges remain

CONSTRUCTION, waste management and quarrying firm Barr Holdings has recorded a 65 per cent rise in annual profits.

However the Paisley-based company, which is owned by Northern Ireland-based Trench Holdings, indicated its markets remain challenging in spite of a six per cent increase in turnover from £164.3 million to £174.2 million in 2013.

Construction and quarrying activities rose from £145.7 million to £154.6 million with revenue from the operation of landfill sites rising from £18.3 million to £19.4 million.

There was also £188,000 of other income recorded in annual accounts lodged at Companies House, compared with £254,000 in the previous year.

Pre-tax profits grew from £2 million to £3.3 million.

Writing in the accounts the directors said that was a "significant improvement" and that it was maintaining its capital investment programme, which stood at £4.3 million in the financial year, even amid the uncertain market conditions.

The accounts state Trench Holdings decided to separate out the three divisions of the Barr business in October 2013.

As a result the quarrying and surfacing arm was acquired by Barr Quarries, which is a subsidiary of Barr Holdings.

The Barr Environmental business became a subsidiary of Barr Holdings while the construction arm will trade out of Barr Holdings.

The directors noted in the accounts the next review of the company's banking facilities is due in April 2015 and they expect those to be renewed on acceptable terms.

Average staff numbers in 2013 were at 381, down from 483 as a result of reductions in the numbers of construction and management people employed.

Employee costs fell from almost £24 million to £18.5 million.

Director's emoluments increased from £557,000 to £910,000 with the highest paid receiving more than £262,000, up from £201,224.

No dividend was recommended in the year.

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