British construction materials group Breedon is pursuing a number of acquisition opportunities in Ireland to capitalise on an expected double-digit percentage rise in building activity here next year.
Breedon entered Ireland in 2018 through the €500m takeover of housebuilding and aggregates business the Lagan Group. Breedon now trades in Ireland under the Lagan name and in the North as Whitemountain.
Breedon spokesman Stephen Jacobs said the group is very pleased with Lagan’s performance in the first 10 months of this year and is very optimistic about its prospects, given the general outlook for Irish construction activity.
“We do see opportunities in the Republic for bolt-on acquisitions and we are pursuing some of those,” Mr Jacobs said.
“Our focus on driving organic improvement, together with a healthy acquisition pipeline, gives us confidence that we will make further progress in 2020”, the group said in a trading update detailing increased revenues, improved underlying earnings and strong cash generation, boosted by Lagan’s contribution, for the first 10 months of the year.
Group revenues for the 10 months increased by 8%, year-on-year, to round €935m, with aggregates sales volumes up 4%, and cement up 6%.
Breedon said next month’s UK general election and ongoing Brexit negotiations have created near-term uncertainty, but said that the longer-term signs are more positive.
“The longer-term outlook for our markets remains encouraging, with forecasters expecting British construction to grow modestly in 2020, while Ireland is expected to see further double digit growth,” it said.