A rebranded Mannok truck with Kevin Lunney, Chief Operations Officer, Laim McCaffrey, Chief Executive Officer and Dara O’Reilly, Chief Financial Officer. Picture: Shane O’Neill, Coalesce.

Mannok reduces net debt by over €19m

Mannok reported generally good news as they today published an overview of its operating performance for 2020.

While they note a number of customer projects have been "delayed" in recent months, they highlight the achievement of overcoming the "twin challenges of Covid 19 and the Brexit transition", whilst also having EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) for the period increase by 17% to €31.1m.

Cash generation from operating activities improved by over 44 per cent from €21.7m to €31.3m which aided a reduction in net debt in the period of €19.4m.

On the environmental front, Chief Financial Officer, Dara O’Reilly announced that that the company has approved investment of over €6m for sustainability initiatives including research and development of reduced carbon cement, alternative fuels for mobile plant and fleet assets and an enhanced emissions filtration system for the business’ cement plant.

In September 2020 the business was renamed Mannok, marking the culmination of a 6-year transformation and investment programme that saw sales and employment increase by 44% and 25% respectively.

Revenue remained materially consistent at €233m (€234m in 2019), demonstrating strong resilience to the impact of Covid 19 on trading during the year.

2020 saw good sales and margin increases across Cement and Packaging, partly offset by higher raw material costs for Insulation products.

The review also reveals that there has been investment of €6.7m in the period, primarily in manufacturing technology and capacity enhancement, bringing total investment to €66m since the acquisition of the businesses in December 2014, with a further €6.1m of investment already in train for 2021.

Commenting, Liam McCaffrey, Chief Executive Officer said: “The safety and welfare of our staff and their families has been, and remains, of paramount importance through the pandemic. As an organisation with operations on both sides of the border, we are enormously grateful for the support and commitment of our 800 plus colleagues in helping to navigate the twin challenges of Covid 19 and the Brexit transition.

“Post the initial lockdown, trading recovered strongly in the second half of the year, supported by approximately €66m of new investment over the past six years. While the business has experienced some impact on trading activities over recent months, with a number of customer projects being delayed as a result of Covid 19, underlying demand has remained strong,” said Liam McCaffrey.

“Given our ongoing exposure to the food and construction sectors, the very positive response to our rebranding and the potential tail-wind of a vaccine-driven economic recovery, the outlook for 2021 is positive,” he added.

Commenting, Chief Financial Officer, Dara O’Reilly explained that “Mannok comprises two key divisions, Building Products and Packaging, both are robust and diversified businesses, deemed essential throughout Covid. Its key activities are the manufacture, of cement, concrete, quarry, insulation materials and products, as well as the manufacturing of packaging products, mainly for the food industry.

“Across both its divisions, the company has continued to enhance its Environmental, Health and Safety credentials. Sustainability is a key focus of recent and future investment by Mannok,” he added.

Having transitioned 100% of its Packaging products to being fully recyclable, Mannok’s key sustainability focus has now shifted to carbon reduction across all company operations.