Having enjoyed its best year ever, Ardmac finished 2014 with overall revenues of €82m, a year-on-year increase of 36%, and CEO Ronan Quinn believes that the company is now in a better position than ever before.
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” says Ronan Quinn as he narrates the journey made by the international specialist contracting company over the last ten years.
“It was a tough experience for everyone in the construction sector but we stood by what we know best. That was a key strategic decision for the company. We have always sought to employ the best people and strive, through our processes and market intelligence, to deliver the best result for our customers. That is what we have always done, and what we continue to do today,” says Quinn, who has been with the company for over 15 years.
Founded in 1977, Ardmac specialises in the construction of high-value working environments for global brands, specifically in commercial fit out and cleanroom construction.
“Some of the sectors, like healthcare and finance were hit much harder than others and it became evident very quickly that we had to re-point the business towards different sectors and different geographies.”
Continuing its work in bio-pharma, cleanrooms and datacenters, the company made a pivot into other areas where the existing skill set could be adapted, and concentrated their business development efforts in GB and mainland Europe.
“We are experts in specialist cleanrooms and we made a strategic decision to target organisations within the aviation and automotive sectors, where we could deploy our intellect and processes. Big wins with Nissan, Airbus and Bombardier were hard won but those contracts validate our strategic thinking,” adds Quinn.
Ardmac quickly targeted big wins in the pharmaceutical, biopharma and medical devices sectors with Allergan, GSK, Janssen, Pfizer, DePuy, Eli Lilly and Novartis.
“We are highly experienced and very comfortable working in any controlled environment and again it was a matter of transferring an existing skill set to the point now where we are one of the largest in Europe, having provided 70,000m2 of controlled environment space over the last four years.”
At the same time Ardmac’s commercial and retail fit-out business in Ireland and the UK has grown over the last four years, expanding their client base with large high street retailers and Blue Chip companies, including Vodafone, NEXT, HSBC, 3 Mobile, KPMG and Easons.
With a presence in Manchester for over 25 years, the company has opened a London office to manage the UK client base and they have an office in Belgium to service their clients in the vibrant biopharma market across the Benelux region.
As company with a turnover of €82m and 250 staff operating across Europe in a variety of challenging market segments, Quinn is quick to acknowledge the contribution of the team to the overall success of the business.
“Internally, we have modified our business model by forming a Pre-Contract division under the leadership of Roy Millar, which deals specifically with marketing, business development, pre-qualification, estimating and orders securement. Simultaneously, we combined all of our operations across the Group under the guidance of Alan Coakley – typically planning, procurement, engineering, surveying and project management. This has resulted in a better deployment of staff resources across our business and promoted a culture of shared learning which has ultimately improved our offering and a better experience for our customers.”
The future is bright for Ardmac, says Quinn, but his predictions come with a caution: “I expect 2015 to have a similar complexion to this year in terms of turnover, but I am aware that the last 24 months has been a period of considerable growth for the company. Now is a time for consolidation. We pride ourselves on our highly qualified people and their ability to deliver. The last seven years has seen a serious brain-drain from the construction sector In Ireland and I would be keen to see something done to encourage some of that talent back into the country.”