THE Sisk Group has won a €60 million development contract to build a major hospital in al-Ain, the second largest city in Abu Dhabi, with work due to commence next month and completion expected in two years’ time.
Sisk – which has diversified over the last few years to take in companies within the healthcare and home products markets, but has retained its core construction focus – has had a presence in the United Arab Emirates for the last year. Management is confident of securing additional construction projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before the end of this year, both individually and through the group’s 49% stake in local company, Emirates & Al Nasr Building & Construction.
The group, which has internationalised its business reach to include the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Britain, has recently also won a number of high-value civil engineering contracts in Britain as well as three infrastructure projects in Poland (covering 94km of motorway, 70km of side roads and 74 bridge structures).
About 25% of group revenue is now generated outside of Ireland and new business orders for the British division, alone, were valued at £400m over the past 12 months.
Despite being awarded headline contracts in Ireland – including Dublin’s new Grand Canal Theatre and the Aviva Stadium – management said its home market remains “very uncertain”. Sisk cut 240 jobs in its Irish operations last year and a further 200 are expected for 2010, although 100 workers have been redeployed.
The group’s financial figures for 2009 show a 30% fall in sales to €1.03 billion and a 56% drop in pre-tax profits to €10.5m (due to a number of once-off exceptional items).
Group chief executive Liam Nagle said management is optimistic about full-year profitability.
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