Strong growth for Dowds

Managing director James Dowds

Northern Ireland’s JF & H Dowds Limited, whose principal activities include mechanical, electrical and specialist construction contracting, has grown turnover by 76% in just two years.

For the year 31st March 2024 Dowds turned over £72.7m – up 34% on the previous year’s figure of £54.3m – and generated a pre-tax profit of almost £1.5m, compared to a pre-tax loss of £2.8m the previous year.

Dowds’ turnover has tended to be a bit up and down in recent years – £41m in 2020, £61m in 2021, back to £41m in 2022 – but the past two years have both seen solid growth.

The directors attributed the recent strong performance to increasing operational efficiencies and focusing on an enhanced end-to-end supply chain to mitigate cost increases. Cash at the bank at year-end was also improved at £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 that the board was 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.”

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