Heron Bros will continue to focus on the UK market amid continued economic uncertainty

SOUTH Derry construction group Heron Bros said its business would continue to focus on the UK market due to uncertainty in the local and national economy.

In a new set of business accounts, the Draperstown-based operation, which employs around 290 people, reported pre-tax profit of £5.6million for the year to August 31, 2021.

The Heron Bros business includes construction, carpentry, manufacturing, quarrying, supply of building materials as well as real estate development and investment.

At £84.5m, group revenue reflects the impact of the pandemic over the 12-month reporting period, ending the year below pre-Covid levels from 2019 (107 million pounds).

In the latest report filed with Companies House, Heron’s directors took a cautious tone but said the company‘s order book remained strong.

“With continued local and national uncertainty and to avoid spending dips, the company will continue to focus on the UK market,” they said.

“However, we are encouraged by a strong balance sheet, order backlog and opportunities for the year ahead.”

Directors said Heron continued to invest significantly in the sustainability of its business in 2021 by maintaining an ongoing digital transformation program.

Over the past few months, Heron Bros has sought to increase its stake in the renewable energy sector.

The Derry company announced in June a seven-figure investment in West Belfast smart battery technology company The Electric Storage Company (TESC). Heron is already heavily invested in the renewable energy sector through the wind company Simple Power.

Meanwhile, the South Derry Group is also working with foodservice provider Sysco Ireland to develop a new £23million distribution facility at Nutts Corner.

“Growth will continue to be driven by the consolidation of the existing sectors in which we operate, the alliance with long-standing customers, the pursuit of niche markets, residential developments, renewable energies, strategic joint ventures and developments together with the company’s real estate division,” the directors said.

“The company continues to expand its current development model of site identification, design and construction, sale or lease of developments to private and public sector clients.”

Heron Bros Limited is ultimately owned by Heron Bros Holdings registered in the Isle of Man.

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