Caterpillar brand-owner’s profits up 80% (SBP – 19th November 2006)

My article on McCormick Macnaughton, which owns the Caterpillar franchise in Ireland, from this week’s Sunday Business Post (link here):

Pre-tax profits at Ballymana Holdings, the company behind McCormick Macnaughton, owner of the Caterpillar machinery brand in Ireland, rose by almost 80 per cent to €5.2 million last year.

Turnover at the company increased by 19 per cent to €125.4 million, while the operating profit rose by 72 per cent to €7.1million. McCormick Macnaughton, which has its head office on the Naas Road, has branches in Dublin, Lisburn and Cork. The firm also has sales and services centres in Donegal, Kerry and Limerick.

A fleet of support units operates nationwide. The company’s two directors, Malcolm and Rosemary Macnaughton, received remuneration of €576,000, a rise of €100,000 on the previous year.

Staff levels increased to 424 with the salary bill rising to €17.6 million.

The average salary at the company in 2005 was €41,600.

‘‘Results for the year ended December 2005 represent a very satisfactory outcome for the group.

‘‘Our businesses continue to gain share in the markets in which we operate, bolstered by the buoyancy in the construction industry,” said company chairman Malcolm Macnaughton.

‘‘This dynamic, coupled with ongoing health and safety regulation change in the plant and tool rental market, underpins demand for our products and gives us confidence as we look to the future.’’ Macnaughton said there had been a growing trend with in the construction industry to rent equipment rather than buy, as this proved to be more efficient and practical for many companies.

According to the accounts, Ballymana halved its bank loans, taking €6.5 million off the amount owed.

It also increased its stake in North-based McCormick Macnaughton, bringing its stake in the business from 75 per cent to 84 per cent.

During the year, the company entered into a sale and leaseback arrangement with a director of the company for its premises at Turnpike Industrial Estate, which was sold for €1.8 million.

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