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McInerney looks to grow in the north

FINANCE

IRISH house builder McInerney is looking to the north of England for acquisitions.

The firm, which is Ireland's biggest house builder, tried to buy into Yorkshire but was frustrated by lack of opportunity and opened an office there last autumn.

McInerney UK managing director Pat O'Flynn said: 'We already have our eyes on three or four sites in Yorkshire that I hope will be up and running this time next year. But we're still looking for acquisitions and heading for the north Midlands. If we achieve that, with the way the market is going, we would be satisfied, as we're quite happy in the north of England.'

Four years ago McInerney sold just nine homes in the UK but 2004 sales hit 500 to push pre-tax profits up £3.6 million to £8.9 million as turnover leapt £16 million to £56.7 million.

Profits at McInerney's UK contracting arm Hargreaves rocketed £68,000 to £86,000 on turnover of £11.7 million - up from £10.9 million in 2003.

Mr O'Flynn said: 'We'll probably do the same this year.We're expanding that business slowly.'

Around £3.5 million-worth of McInerney's workload came from social housing refurbishment, with £4 million arising from private clients.