But despite these challenges, the Cheevers family-owned group held revenue at a near-record level of £480m, down 6% from the year before, with operating margins at 1.1%.
Both the construction and civil engineering division, which contributed £417m of total revenue, continued to trade profitably despite the additional challenges and extra costs that Covid brought.
Over the year the group, which employs 800 staff out of offices in offices in Belfast, Glasgow, London, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bristol, received £2.2m in furlough support cash from Government.
Finance director David O’Neill said that other smaller group businesses – distribution and the environmental landfill business – also both performed strongly last year, building a platform for the year group ahead.
“The current order book, tender opportunities and performance for 2021 are very healthy and we anticipate a strong performance,” said O’Neill.
“The fundamentals of each of the businesses with McLaughlin & Harvey Group are strong. The balance sheet for the group shows net assets of £57.6m supported by net cash of £69.9m.”
In June, McLaughlin & Harvey launched a new dedicated fit-out business called WorkSpace to offer clients a range of services spanning build, fit out, facilities management, bespoke joinery, and commercial furniture.
Richard Cheevers, McLaughlin & Harvey Director, said: “The company has built a strong reputation for delivering large scale construction and civil engineering schemes over many years, and recently the directors felt there was a need to create a dedicated division for projects outside the scope and scale of those traditionally associated with McLaughlin & Harvey.”