Northern Ireland

Almost 60 jobs at risk at Ballymena-based firm

Builders Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption JBE acts as a subcontractor to some of Northern Ireland's largest construction firms

A Ballymena-based electrical and mechanical contractor has been put into administration putting 58 jobs at risk.

JBE Mechanical Electrical Ltd has been operating for 35 years.

It recently suffered losses on work in Scotland.

Founder and managing director John Blair said: "It is with the deepest regret and profound sadness that we have been forced to take the step of placing the company in administration."

The administrator is currently assessing the options available to the business and will meet staff next week.

JBE works across the commercial, industrial, leisure, healthcare and retail sectors.

It acts as a subcontractor to some of Northern Ireland's largest construction firms.

Its major jobs have included work on the Victoria Square shopping complex in Belfast and Selfridges department store in London.

Challenging market conditions

The firm's most recent accounts, for the year ending April 2017, show a pre-tax profit of £174,000 on turnover of £23m.

A note in the accounts states that profits were lower than expected as the firm was "severely impacted" by several contracts which were being managed by the Scottish office.

It adds that the Scottish office was closed in December 2016 with all work now being managed from the Ballymena headquarters.

Mr Blair said: "In recent years, despite the challenging market conditions, we worked relentlessly to maintain a profitable business, however the struggle became overwhelming due to significant losses incurred on several Scottish contracts and we could no longer maintain our position.

"I would like to place on record my appreciation of the skills, and expertise of JBE's hard working employees and recognise their professionalism and loyalty throughout."

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