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Sisk Group reports strong performance for the year ended 31 December 2019 across all of its businesses in Ireland, the UK and Europe

08/07/20

Wednesday 8th July 2020:  Sicon Limited, the parent company of the Sisk Group’s construction and construction related activities in Ireland, the United Kingdom and a number of international markets, announces its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2019:

  • Turnover grew by 19% to just under €1.4 billion
  • Profit before interest and tax increased 9.9% to €31.1 million
  • Shareholders’ funds increase to €85.4 million
  • The Group has high levels of cash and has no bank borrowings

Over 98% of the Group’s turnover is derived from construction and related activities.  The figures above also incorporate the results of the Korine Property Partners and Origo Distribution businesses, both of which are wholly owned subsidiaries.

Sicon Group Financial Highlights:

2019

€’M

2018

€’M

% change

Turnover

1,395.8

1,172.8

+19.0

Profit before interest and tax

31.1

28.3

+9.9

Cash at year end

184.0

188.9

-2.6

Bank loans

-

-

n/a

Shareholders’ funds

85.4

67.0

+27.5

Turnover analysis:

Ireland

727.8

748.8

-2.8

United Kingdom

527.3

395.0

+33.5

Europe

140.4

28.3

+396.1

Other

0.3

0.7

-57.1

Operations review | Construction

Commenting Chief Executive Officer of John Sisk & Son, Steve Bowcott, said:

“We are very happy to report another good set of results for the Group reflecting continued strong financial and operational performance in 2019. John Sisk & Son has a consistent record of excellence in project delivery, innovation and value creation across many different construction sectors and markets, including commercial, residential, civil engineering, data centre and life sciences and celebrated 160 years in business in 2019.

“We are proud of the important role we play supporting key Irish Government policy objectives in the provision of social housing, schools and other public infrastructure.  During the year, Sisk Living – the Group’s social housing unit – commenced the building, with its partners, of 590 residential units as part of the Social Housing Bundle 1 PPP project.

“During 2019, we also commenced a number of landmark projects in the UK including the Mercian Project, which at 42 stories is the tallest residential tower in Birmingham, for Moda.”

“Our European business has continued to expand primarily in the specialist sectors of data centres and life sciences, where we have extensive experience. During the year, the Group worked on projects in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden.”

2019 was also notable for the following landmarks:

In Ireland:

Center Parcs in Longford Forest was officially opened following a rapid build process to construct 446 lodges, 30 apartments as well as restaurants, admin buildings and the sub-tropical paradise swimming pool and spa.

We completed the new spectator stand, entrance and associated bars and restaurant facilities as part of the redevelopment of the Curragh Racecourse stand.

Excellent progress continues to be made on the construction of the new TU Dublin Campus at Grangegorman, topping out both the East and Central Quads.  As part of our partnership commitment, we launched a multi-year sponsorship of the TU Dublin Elite sports programme in February of this year.

Construction of a major new bio- production facility for Johnson & Johnson at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour is nearing completion. 

In Dublin we are continuing to progress delivery of the Fibonacci Square office development for Facebook in Ballsbridge, the redevelopment of a prominent commercial site on Nassau Street in Dublin city centre and Wilton Park, an office development over nine floors adjacent to the Grand Canal.

During the year, Sisk and Designer Group launched a new joint venture – Sensori FM delivering fully integrated facility management services to an extensive customer base. 

Sisk also acquired the Vision Built group of companies based in Galway.  Vision Built is an off-site manufacturer of light gauge steel panels for the residential, commercial, hotel, and educational sectors.

In the United Kingdom:

The iconic International Convention Centre Wales at Celtic Manor was completed and opened for business.

In London, key milestones were reached on our two residential projects for Quintain at Wembley Park – Sisk has been working with Quintain for 15 years.  We also completed the handover of the Boeing Goldcare Hangar at Gatwick Airport. 

In Manchester, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar visited our major city centre project, Circle Square.  Topping out of the first two commercial buildings has now been completed.

New projects for the year also included a mixed development for Rockwell at Canary Wharf, the new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal Building in Liverpool, civils work at York Central and the tram extension project in Blackpool.

In Europe:

We continued to work with Primark in a number of locations in Europe and also remain active for a number of multinational clients in the life sciences sector in Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.  We are also currently working on two large scale data centres in Sweden.

In Europe we have a well-established network of our own supply chain partners and can deliver projects to our clients in various ways ranging from construction management services, EPCM and general contracting.

Other matters:

The Group employed an average of 1,735 people in 2019.  We place considerable emphasis on the health and safety of our employees, subcontractors and all stakeholders of our business.  Each group company sets specific health and safety priorities in line with the Group’s vision, supporting at all times our “Zero Philosophy” strategy which is targeted towards the elimination of incidents and accidents across the Group. 

We recognise the importance of mental health and wellbeing, both across the wider construction industry and also in our businesses.  The Group has undertaken a number of initiatives in recent times to drive awareness of mental health for our employees and their families including the launch of our “I Am Here" program earlier this year.

The Group’s commitment to sustainability and the environment is set out through our environmental and energy management systems which received increased focus during the year.  Through these, we seek to achieve delivery of a sustainable future, making a positive contribution to current and future generations.  We regularly review the broad environmental and social risks relating to our activities including issues such as climate change, actively engaging with communities and stakeholders as well as managing the operational challenges around such subjects as skills shortages and the relatively low number of people entering the engineering profession.

Operations Review | Other businesses

Korine Property Partners:

Korine is the trading name for a group of companies involved in property portfolio management and property development activities. The Korine group has interests in various property assets in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe. During the year, Korine disposed of a number of property assets and continued to enhance the underlying value of the assets under its control.

Origo Distribution:

Origo is involved in the distribution of quality branded products to the Irish retail distribution sector. 2019 was another positive year for the business, which continues its focus on gaining market share, adding leading brands to its portfolio. 

Covid-19 | Impact on the Group

The Group continues to monitor ongoing Covid-19 developments and the potential impact on employees, clients, supply chain partners and other stakeholders.  Robust business continuity and contingency plans have been implemented across the Group and are continuously monitored and refined.

The effects of Covid-19 have varied across each of the markets the Group operates in.  In Ireland, the effect of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Act 2020 was to close the majority of our Irish construction activities, with the exception of a small number of projects related to the provision of essential services. However, in the UK and Europe, all of our projects remained open with enhanced social distancing health and safety measures put in place to protect Sisk and third party staff working on these sites.

Lockdown restrictions continue to be eased in each our markets, with construction activity restarting in Ireland on the 18th May.  It is too early at this point to accurately gauge the precise impact that new social distancing measures will have in the short term on productivity levels and costs in construction.  We would expect to develop a clearer assessment as the summer year progresses so that we may more accurately assess the impacts of Covid-19 on our business.

Outlook

The Group has a strong order book of secured work for both 2020 and 2021.  At this time, we estimate that the main financial impact of Covid-19 will be to defer some revenues from 2020 into 2021 due to the temporary closure and/or slowdown of live construction projects, particularly in the Irish market.  The Group has a strong capital structure with high levels of un-committed cash and no bank debt. As a result, the board believes that the Group is currently well positioned to deal with challenges Covid-19 might have on its activities.

ENDS