Prof­its at UK en­gi­neer­ing firm Bal­four Beatty up 69pc

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Front Page - John Mul­li­gan Gor­don Dee­gan

PROF­ITS at Bal­four Beatty – the UK com­pany that through a joint ven­ture has a €500m con­tract to in­stall and main­tain gas in­fras­truc­ture across Ire­land – saw its un­der­ly­ing prof­its jump 69pc to £66m (€74m) in the first half of the year.

How­ever, its un­der­ly­ing rev­enue in the pe­riod de­clined from £4.2bn (€4.7bn) in the first six months of 2017 to £3.8bn (€4.2m) in the first half of 2018.

The group said that while main­tain­ing “dis­ci­plined bid­ding prac­tices”, it grew its or­der book to £12.6bn (€14.1bn) at the end of the first half of the year.

That was pri­mar­ily due to wins by its US con­struc­tion busi­ness, in­clud­ing its 30pc share of the $2bn (€2.2bn) Los An­ge­les Air­port au­to­mated peo­ple mover project.

“All our busi­nesses are now ei­ther achiev­ing in­dus­try stan­dard mar­gins or on track to do so in the sec­ond half,” said CEO Leo Quinn.

“Given the strength of our bal­ance sheet and the board’s con­fi­dence that the group’s full-year earn­ings will meet ex­pec­ta­tions, we are rais­ing the in­terim div­i­dend by 33pc and plan to re­pay the out­stand­ing con­vert­ible bonds this year,” he added.

Bal­four Beatty plans to re­pay £214m (€240m) of out­stand­ing con­vert­ible notes when they fall due in De­cem­ber.

Bal­four Beatty has a joint ven­ture in Ire­land with CLG, which un­der­takes work for Gas Net­works Ire­land. NEW Le­in­ster cap­tain Johnny Sex­ton was com­pared to soc­cer leg­end Lionel Messi this week

And the star Ir­ish No 10 dis­played some nifty foot­work off the pitch him­self last year to in­crease prof­its at his com­pany to al­most €1.6m.

New ac­counts lodged by Sex­ton’s Jas Man­age­ment & Pro­mo­tions Ltd show that prof­its at the com­pany in­creased by €28,719 from €1.567m to €1.596m in the 12 months to the end of Septem­ber last.

The prof­its last year are quite mod­est com­pared to the prof­its of €431,788 earned by Sex­ton’s firm in 2017.

How­ever, this is partly ex­plained by the com­pany di­rec­tors, Sex­ton and his wife, Laura en­joy­ing al­most a sev­en­fold in­crease in pay from the firm go­ing from €22,350 in 2016 to €150,864 last year. Dur­ing the same pe­riod the com­pany’s cash pile in­creased by just un­der €100,000 go­ing from €1.1469m to €1.2463m. The value of the com­pany’s in­vest­ments also in­creased dur­ing the year go­ing from €351,729 to €376,773.

Sex­ton, who turned 33 last month, was a rel­a­tive late­comer to the in­ter­na­tional scene and has been mak­ing up for lost time in the com­mer­cial world.

The al­most €1.6m in ac­cu­mu­lated prof­its at Sex­ton’s firm com­pares to ac­cu­mu­lated prof­its of €476,099 at the firm at the end of 2014.

Sex­ton has en­joyed a stel­lar 2017/18 sea­son where he led Ire­land to a Grand Slam and Le­in­ster to a Euro­pean Cup.

Cur­rently, Sex­ton’s off-field com­mer­cial deals are be­ing guided by Conor Ridge’s Hori­zon Sports where Sex­ton is the firm’s most high-pro­file client — other clients in­clude Mun­ster’s Peter O’Ma­hony and golfer, Shane Lowry.

Hori­zon Sports had a very pub­lic fall­ing out with su­per­star golfer Rory McIl­roy where an out-of-court agree­ment in Fe­bru­ary 2015 in Dublin re­sulted in Hori­zon Sports re­ceiv­ing a re­ported €21.8m ($25m) from the golfer.

The Dubliner is the most suc­cess­ful cur­rent Ir­ish rugby star from a play­ing and com­mer­cial point of view.

But he has some way to go to match the com­mer­cial suc­cess of his for­mer re­tired Le­in­ster and Ire­land team-mate Brian O’Driscoll whose main firm en­joyed prof­its last year of €880,913 to re­sult in ac­cu­mu­lated prof­its of €5.94m.

Sex­ton is one of a num­ber of rugby play­ers with their own man­age­ment com­pa­nies to han­dle earn­ings from ven­tures such as spon­sor­ships and im­age rights.

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