Irish builder John Paul Construction trebled profits to more than €6 million last year on the back of growth both here and in Britain, its latest accounts show.

John Paul built the newly-opened extension to Bausch + Lomb’s Waterford plant and is working on the redevelopment of the former Central Bank building on Dame Street in central Dublin.

Accounts filed by its parent John Paul Holdings Ltd show operating profit grew by 300 per cent to €6.3 million last year, from €2.1 million in 2015.

Directors Eamon Booth and Conor O’Donnell noted that turnover increased to €280 million in 2016, from €165 million the previous year.

“The group continues to benefit from the improved market within which it operates, both in Ireland and the UK,” their report states.

“While margins remain competitive, based on current trends further growth is anticipated for 2017.”

Pretax profit more than trebled to €5.6 million from €1.7 million. John Paul Holdings paid €3.65 million in dividends to a holding company during the year.

Mr Booth, Mr O’Donnell and Donal Winters are the group’s ultimate owners, each owning a third of the business.

The figures show it had close to €18.5 million in net assets at the end of last year, €1 million more than at the end of 2015.

John Paul owed its banks €11.2 million at the end of 2016, slightly less than 12 months earlier.

Most of the debt was longer term, but €3.55 million was due within 12 months. The notes to the accounts state that the loans were secured on company property such as offices in Dundrum Business Park in Dublin, and Little Island in Cork.

It owed €9.24 million to a number of other group companies, two-thirds of it to John Paul Construction Ltd.

The company employed 258 people and paid them €18.75 million in wages, and pension and welfare contributions.

Other big projects on which John Paul has been working include extending Pepsi’s facilities in Carrigaline and Little Island, Co Cork, and the Tamburlaine Hotel in Cambridge in southeast England for the O’Callaghan Hotel Group.

REF: Irish Times