Northern Ireland’s McLaughlin & Harvey makes £4m profit despite turnover drop

One of Northern Ireland’s largest building firms made profits of more than £4m in 2012, despite a 25% drop in turnover.

The details are contained in the annual report of McLaughlin & Harvey.

The construction firm is based in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, and employs around 350 people.

Its turnover in 2012 was £151m compared to £198m in 2011, though profits fell only slightly.

The Northern Ireland construction sector is stuck in a deep downturn though larger firms have been able to win work in other parts of the UK.

A note in the McLaughlin & Harvey accounts states that the directors are satisfied with the results and believe future prospects are good, despite difficult market conditions.

McLaughlin & Harvey operates in a number of specialist areas, including tidal energy.

It recently installed the foundation for the Deep Green Ocean Kite tidal energy device at Strangford Lough in County Down.

It also recently launched a specialist fit-out division.

The company, which is owned by the veteran businessman Ken Cheevers, paid a dividend of £600,000, up from £265,000 in 2011.

The amount earned by the highest paid director also rose from £422,778 to £491,462.

Mr Cheevers also controls a Scottish building firm, Barr Construction, and is thought to have extensive retail property interests.