Construction products and packing group, Quinn Industrial Holdings is seeking to expand into the ready-mix concrete market to tap the building boom in the Dublin area and is open to making acquisitions if opportunities arise.
Founder Seán Quinn severed the last ties with the business three years ago after the Quinn family lost control of the last part of a once immense business empire during the banking and property collapse 10 years ago.
QIH formed part of the original businesses he set up in Fermanagh and Cavan over 40 years ago and was bought from the receivers by three US equity funds in 2014.
Posting 2018 earnings, the company signalled its plan to expand into the Dublin area by acquiring a site for a ready-mix facility near the M50 motorway with an investment of €2m or €3m.
That investment is likely to be part of a €10m capital expenditure in 2019 and further expansion through acquisitions has not been ruled out. QIH said it invested €21.7m in the business last year and had weathered the Brexit fallout and rising energy costs.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation, or Ebitda, of €26.4m, was up 10% from 2017, as turnover rose 15% to €240m.
“Our growth trajectory since December 2014 has continued apace in 2018 with turnover, Ebitda and investment up strongly. Having stabilised and substantially re-invested our building products and packaging businesses and sustained and grown local employment, our focus has now shifted to future development and expansion opportunities,” said chief executive Liam McCaffrey.
“Notable headwinds” from Brexit and the weakness of sterling against the euro, as well as much higher energy costs “had some short-term margin impact in 2018 which we expect to see reversed in 2019”, the company said.
QIH which employs 830 staff in Fermanagh, Cavan, and Longford, as well as in England said it expects its IT investments to pay off.