Building firm BAM aims for €500m in sales

Building firm BAM says it made €23m in profits last year after undertaking a number of projects including the new national children’s hospital.

However, it was quiet about the future of the controversial event centre in Cork, which has been beset by delays and rising costs.

BAM said its turnover in 2016 was €361m, and that it expected to increase sales to €500m this year.

The firm, which employs up to 2,000 people, said it had cash reserves of €120m.

The firm, which is contracted to build the new national children’s hospital, said its financial accounts showed it had a “robust balance sheet with healthy cash balances and no bank debt”. The new seven-storey hospital will have 6,150 rooms, 18 theatres and four acres of gardens.

The firm was also awarded the contract for the long-awaited N25 New Ross bypass in Co Wexford, which is a public/private partnership, and worked on Google’s new European home in Sandyford, Dublin.

BAM chief executive Theo Cullinane said 2016 was a good year for the company.

“Thanks to a high level of turnover with a reasonable return, along with the continued commitment of our staff, we are well positioned to continue our progress in what is an improving economy,” he said.

However, there was no mention in the firm’s annual report of the event centre for Cork.

The future of the 6,000 seat event centre has been called into question since BAM and its partner on the project, Live Nation requested an extra €18m in State funding.

BAM won the contract in December 2014 for €20m in state-aid to build the event centre on the former Beamish and Crawford site in Cork city.

Despite former taoiseach Enda Kenny turning the sod on the project just before the general election in 2016, construction on the event centre has not begun. It may end up costing €73m.

A redesign was ordered by Live Nation last year so that the project would become “commercially viable”.

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