McInerney profits up 26%

Construction company McInerney has announced a 26% increase in pre-tax profits to €50.06m compared to the 2004 result of €39.59m.

Profit after tax for the year was €41.10m compared with €35.03m for the full year in 2004, an increase of 17%.

Earnings per share increased by 16%, while dividend increased by 33% to 15c gross per share.

Continued strong housing demand in Ireland and significant growth in the UK market bolstered the company's bottom line. The group completed a total of 1,831 private homes in 2005, 1,138 of them in Ireland. This compares to 1,614 in 2004 and is an increase of 13%.

The UK operations recorded a 32% volume increase in a market that was generally slow in 2005.

The group's third main area of interest, in Spain, also showed significant growth, though it is still a small part of the company's operation compared with the group's operations in Ireland. The Spanish business delivered 35 units in 2005 compared to 13 units in 2004. A new site with planning consent at El Cortesin golf urbanisation, near Estepona, was recently secured. It has planning consent for up to 45 private units.

"Market indications, demographics and predicted inward migration all suggest that the current buoyancy of the housing market is set to continue," the company said.

McInerney said today it intended to continue its output. The group has 4,700 plots in its Irish land bank, of which 50% have planning permission and the balance are residentially zoned. In addition, the group holds land with potential for about 1,600 longer-term plots.

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