Ballymena-based Dowds Group announces record sales and return to profit

Ballymena-based Dowds Group announces record sales and return to profit

Directors optimistic for the future with a multi-million-pound confirmed order book and pipeline – James Dowds

A Ballymena Headquartered multi-disciplinary construction services group has achieved record sales and a return to profit for its financial year ending 31 March 2024. 

JF & H Dowds Limited whose principal activities include mechanical, electrical and specialist construction contracting grew its turnover to £72.7m – up 37.4% on the previous year’s figure of £53.1m. The business generated a pre-tax profit of almost £1.5m.   

The directors attributed the strong performance to increasing operational efficiencies and focusing on an enhanced end-to-end supply chain to mitigate cost increases. Meanwhile, the company’s Working Capital position and liquidity remains strong with cash at the bank at year-end of £6.6m (2023; £2.1m). 

Managing Director, James Dowds said: “These results show a return to steady rate growth and profitability for the Company after previous years where results were constrained by Covid, war in Europe, inflationary pressures, and high interest rates, all of which impacted on company operations and slowed both private and public sector investment in the construction sector. 

“We believe we are now seeing the rewards of having a wide service offering for our customers across the UK and Ireland.” 

James Dowds said the directors were optimistic for the future with a multi-million-pound confirmed order book and pipeline for the next 18 months and line of sight further into 2026 and beyond.  

He added: “A key strategic goal for the company is to keep people at the centre of what we do. In the past two years, the company has invested in new offices to ensure our teams can work collaboratively and efficiently in a creative working environment.  

“The company invested in a new headquarters in Ballymena with occupation taken up in August 2023. As well as being Headquarters for the business, Ballymena is the hub for our Ireland and the rest of Great Britain operations. For London and the Southeast of England, the company purchased premises in Kings Cross, London. These significant investments demonstrate our commitment to our team employed in the various operating regions and our London investment has helped establish the company as a key player in the local market.” 

James Dowds said the business had continued to invest in its recently launched Energy Services division with sales more than doubling in the last 12 months.  He said the directors believe this will continue to be a high-growth division over the next few years, adding the company will also continue to expand into the Fit-out sector through a joint-venture to seek out higher returns working direct to clients. 

In the past year, JF & H Dowds Limited has completed a number of high-profile projects including: 

  • Victoria & Albert Museum East Storehouse:  a 16,000m2 purpose-built home for over 250,000 objects, 350,000 library books and 1,000 archives. The project offers an entirely new museum experience, V&A East Storehouse will take visitors on a journey across time, through self-guided tours and changing displays. 
  • London South Bank Technical College in Nine Elms – a newly build facility focused on teaching a range of newly developed technical courses from construction to robotics using a range of purpose-built hi-tech science, technology, and engineering facilities. 
  • Alliance Healthcare Medical Diagnostic Imaging Centre Belfast – a new state-of-the-art healthcare facility offering a variety of scans including MRI, CT, US, X-ray and Dexa. 
  • Henderson Retail – 1,494 solar panels were installed across 75% of the roof of the newest warehouse at the Group’s support office in Mallusk. 

Ongoing and pipeline projects: 

  • The company secured a place on the £545m Pagabo National Framework for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering provision. 
  • Belfast Grand Central Station – M&E works ongoing.  
  • Almac – M&E works continue on a new 100,000ft2 state-of-the-art multi-product Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility for Almac Pharma Services. This centre of excellence for manufacturing will house a custom-designed dispensary area, multiple production suites, process equipment wash facilities and a lineside warehouse for ambient, refrigerated, and frozen storage. 
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital London – Work is ongoing on this site to upgrade site-wide infrastructure works to improve the electrical infrastructure, oxygen supply and ventilation to live clinical areas. 
  • Palm Capital Dublin – tender awarded for the extension and refurbishment of a logistics facility. 
Dowds Group is providing M&E works at the Belfast Grand Central Station

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